First Step…

(Read Time: 5 minutes)

It all started with a trip to South America, and a fight to get into a country that didn’t want me; to do something I had promised to do, and was no longer sure I wanted to do. I had fought for this chance. I had pursued it for almost a year. I had spent thousands of dollars within the span of a few days on missed flights and failed Visa attempts. I was exhausted, discouraged, and everyone told me not to go. They’d understand. It was hard. We would all shrug and just do something else. Something

I was exhausted, discouraged, and everyone told me not to go.

After my second failure for the humanitarian Visa, we tried a tourist Visa...
After they rejected my Humanitarian Visa (because Bolivia, the poorest South American country, is “not in need of aid”), I attempted a tourist visa…
I had my papers, had visited the embassy, had done everything right. Yet still, the system treated me unfairly and bled me. Finally, after playing by the rules, I played a little bit dirty… I decided, come hell or high water, I was going to make it into Bolivia. By bus, or by plane, by hook or by crook, I was going to fulfill my promise no matter what it took.
In the end, it was no mission impossible… I watched carefully for a flight attendant who had a bit of a crush on me. I flashed a huge smile as she checked my tickets. A bit of banter, some shy laughter, a blush. And I got on the plane with no Visa check at all. Big no no. Very risky. A little crazy. But… It worked.
Finally, after playing by the rules, I played a little bit dirty…

Those who are crazy enough to try, often win.

Four hours later, I found myself in Bolivia, with no Visa and a strange sense that everything was going to be okay. I remember the feeling of peace as I approached the immigration officer, only to be sent to a side room where they almost effortlessly created a freshly made Visa for me on the fly (in the airport, at 0400 in the morning).
It was a lesson for me. Never give up. Fulfill your promises. Fight past the tests. Break a few rules. And then, when the moment comes, take a leap of faith. I didn’t know it then, but that day started my journey into a charity called Alalay – and it was about to bring together all of the things in my career that led to the formation of the the Seraphim Corps…

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