“En Trámite”

To anyone who diligently read our newsletter and then obediently moved across to the blog for the promised update, I apologise for not writing it sooner.  Friday I was in Santa Fe, meeting with the University, as described in said newsletter.  The bit I didn’t mention was that we were then on camp with Scouts for the weekend, so Friday evening onwards was a whirl of cutting out stuff for activities, packing other stuff for me and the kids (kids as in mine and everyone else’s) followed by a weekend of running around after them all (ninety six in total; the three San Francisco cub packs plus my progeny). 

Meanwhile, back to validating qualifications.  We went to do the sworn statements during which two friends had to agree that I am indeed a professional of special education.  The policeman at the desk said, that’s ridiculous, how can these people possibly be asked to recognise you as a professional of special education if the whole purpose of the exercise is that the University is supposed to be doing the recognising?  To which I smiled and confirmed that the same thought had indeed occurred to me.  Oh well, he said, if that’s what they want, let’s get it done.  So we did.  After all what would a tiny western mind and a lowly policeman understand of these lofty matters? 

Armed with my folder containing its two-inch stack of paper, I met with my contact at the University of Santa Fe.  He took all the paper out of the folder, swiftly realised that his stapler wasn’t nearly up to the task, put everything back into the folder, filled out a form, produced another document, and we hand-delivered the whole bundle to a different office located within the bowels of the admin block.  And now I have a number.  If you’re reading this in the UK (or probably anywhere else other than Argentina) you may not realise the significance of having a number.  This means that I am now officially “en trámite” (“en tra-mi-te”; undergoing bureaucratic process).  This means that I exist, I am part of a bigger system, someone is taking responsibility for dealing with my case, and if anyone asks, I can quote an official number at them which is often sufficient to suggest that positive proof is on my side.  In actuality a reference number is no guarantee of a swift resolution, or even of any resolution at all; they still might say no, or furnish me with another list of hoops to jump.  But I am now further on than I have ever previously managed to progress with any of the myriad of institutions upon whose doors I have bashed to date, so at least until they say no, I can enjoy my new status of being “en trámite”. 

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