Today I had to do something that I’m generally not very comfortable doing… I had to ask for help.
Since moving to Peru, I’ve been somewhat independent. But when I need help with anything, my husband is always there to help me. Except for today.
Getting my paperwork done to have my visa changed to “Resident” has been such a hassle. Of course I shouldn’t have expected anything less from the Peruvian government (or any other government for that matter), but I’m an optimist. I expected things to be easily explained and there to be a step-by-step detailed list. False.
After figuring out where to start a few months ago, we got the ball rolling with my papers at Migraciones (Immigrations), paid some money, then waited a month out for an appointment. After the appointment, they directed me to Interpol to get my international record checked out. (Not gonna lie, it’s pretty cool saying, “I’ve been to Interpol.”) From there, Interpol told me I needed to return in a week to get my papers.
So today was the day I needed to go to Interpol and pick up my papers, and take them back to Migraciones. And today, my dear husband whom I rely on so much, is out of town and could not help me get from one place to the next, safely and wisely.
I got off my bus on the PanAm this morning, walked a few big blocks, and was at Interpol by 8:40. I waited in line for maybe 5 minutes, then went in to get my papers. Super quick & easy… the easiest part of the process so far! From there, I knew I needed to get the papers to Migraciones today, before my week got to busy and I forgot.
Here’s where the something uncomfortable comes into play… I had to ask for help… from someone I had never met before!
Now I realize that asking for help is a part of life, and people do it all the time. But not me. I don’t know if it means I’m too prideful or arrogant, or maybe just flat out stubborn, but I don’t like to ask for help. Whether it’s a situation that involves emotions, information, money, a simple act of kindness… I’m not good at asking for help.
And today I had to overcome that. I had to admit to someone that I don’t feel comfortable traveling alone downtown, and that I wasn’t 100% sure how to get to where I needed to go, despite having been there four times already! I had to ask someone to take time out of their day to help me. And thank the Lord she did, because had she not, I would have been lost… physically and emotionally.
My new friend (who has known my husband for years) stepped up when I needed someone’s help, and I will be forever grateful! She taught me a new route to take on the buses to get downtown faster (my husband and I always walk, and taking a bus seriously saved us 40 minutes of walking!) and helped me translate when I couldn’t think quickly enough. She waited in line with me, and was really nice and patient about everything. And we were there and back before lunchtime, which is a huge success in downtown Lima!
So I guess even though asking for help isn’t always the most fun, sometimes getting the help is the fun part. I made a new friend, learned a new route, and got my papers turned in all because I asked for her help. In the future I’m going to try not to be too shy to ask for help.
I sure am learning a lot from living here in Lima.