Yeah! Here are pictures of our legal documents to stay in Ecuador – our visas, carnets (IDs), and censos (census, proof that we are legally residing in Ec)! Sensitive numbers have been blocked out for security sake.
This is also proof of God’s hand at work. 🙂 They’ll last for 2 years, PTL. Prayerfully, we’ll have them renewed after two years, or we’ll have other avenues of staying in Ecuador (other types of visas).
The whole process was extremely smooth, amazingly, only by the grace of God!
Our ATM Cards have not yet been done. This is one of the first experiences that we’ve had with the ‘slow’ or ‘inefficient’ S. American culture. Here’s our account:
Last Tuesday, we tried to open a bank account and we arrived at the counter around 3.50pm. The lady told us that the whole process takes 20mins and she ends work at 4pm, so she couldn’t serve us. In any case, she said we didn’t have all the needed documents so we left. We made copies of everything they could possibly need – phone bills to prove our address, visas, passports, carnets.. etc. and arrived at the bank again on Wednesday.
Last Wednesday – with our limited spanish, and the help of a pretty friendly security and bank attendant, we managed to open a bank account! Apparently, we didn’t really need so many copies of what the lady on the previous day said we needed. But after depositing our money, the cashier said we could come back to get our ATM Cards done on Monday (3 working days required.)
This Monday, we braved the rain and arrived at the bank drenched from the ankles through to our shoes and queued for our turn. At the counter, a service attendant (different from Wednesday) checked our account and said it had not yet been approved so we couldn’t make our ATM cards. It’s to take 3 working days – Thursday, Friday and Monday, and Monday was the THIRD day, we should go back on Tuesday, AFTER 3 working days. Hmmmmmmmmm…. ok, we decided we’d go back after 2 days, on Wednesday, just in case.
Wednesday, a week since us opening our account – we went back to the bank and queued again. This time the queue was short, thank God. A new lady at the counter helped us, was patient with our limited spanish, thank God. However, the transaction was much faster than we expected. We only handed in our forms because she told us we could come back and get the actual cards NEXT Wednesday. To speed things up, we asked her if we could apply for our Internet banking PIN at the same time and guess what? She told us we could only apply for one thing at a time. So we’d have to submit the IBanking PIN application next Wednesday, after we get our ATM cards.
I wonder how long that process will take, but for the moment, thank God none of them asked for any bribes. 🙂
All these would probably have taken just an afternoon in SG! Looks like S. America is going to test our patience. “Welcome to Ecuador! 😉 ” said WL and WP when we told them what happened… haha.. 😉 Yes, a warm welcome to Ecuador! The not-so-beautiful-side, that is. hehehe… I have a feeling this is going to be ‘fun’, for a choleric person like me. :p