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No Visa!


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Jackson took yesterday to travel to Nairobi so he could be at the US Embassy at 6:45 this morning for his visa interview.  Alas!  He was turned down because he applied for a tourist visa and the letter I sent sounded as if he is coming on business, to solicit funds for the well.  Of course, the Embassy could have e-mailed me to ask if this were the situation and I could have replied immediately that no, he will visit three Rotary Clubs that have already pledged $9,000 and my church, which has contributed about $3,000 for the hydrogeological study and the boreholes, plus the other contributors.  The itinerary Steve King and my husband Carl and I have developed has him traveling to those clubs to thank them and we also have visits to tourist places in DC, MD, and VA planned most days.

Instead, he got a flat no and must return again if he wants to re-apply.  One would think that Embassy officials, living in Kenya themselves, would understand that travel from Amboseli to Nairobi means he must take off  from work and then has a one-hr. ride by car to Sultan Hamud, then boards a bus for a three-hour ride to Nairobi, where he must pay to eat and spend the night yet again and then the long return trip back to camp.  All of this after filling out endless paperwork online and getting a photograph, neither easy tasks in a developing country.  And this is for a two-week visit.

What message are we sending to people who want to visit our country?  Being vigilant not to let the wrong people in is one thing; making things difficult for the average person is another!

Even if his trip were primarily to raise funds for the wells with the goal of improving the quality of life in a developing country, isn’t that what the US government spends jillions of US tax dollars on?  Someone coming here for a business endeavor is very different from an endeavor to help a village get a clean source of water, a basic human right!

Jackson wrote that he is not giving up, however!

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