First steps: Paperwork

“Must be good to just get up and leave”, they say… I do wish it was that simple.

Checklist completed so far:

  1. Travel insurance. 335 euros.
  2. Plane tickets. 1400 euros.
  3. Crime register. I got the document that proves I’ve never been convicted. For the visa application! 10 euros.
  4. Health certificate. For the visa and for the Service center for development cooperation. Free (dad’s a doctor).
  5. Official invitation to Ecuador, for the visa application. I got it from my future boss after mailing him in Spanish… Yey!
  6. Four different forms filled out by the Service center for development cooperation, to be handed in with my application for state subsididy for the volunteer year. I’m applying for the only kind of subsidy there’s even a remote possibility of receiving: professional training subsidy.
  7. Applications for scholarships from three different funds so far.
  8. Certificate from my employer, for the unemployment office. It states how long I’ve worked and with which tasks, and that I’m resigning on February 13th 2009.
  9. Call to the trade union’s fund for unemployed, to find out how much money I’m entitled to if I would stay in Finland at the service of the labour market when I’m unemployed. The state needs to know that in order to calculate the size of my potential subsidy.
  10. Vaccinations. Yellow fever and both kinds of Hepatitis. 112 euros, and the last shot when I return.
  11. Volunteer contract with the Service center for development cooperation. Signed!
And the to-do-list:
  1. Call the trade union to let them know I’m leaving the country and can’t pay the fee for one year.
  2. Call the boss’ sister who lived in Ecuador. I need all the help I can get…
  3. Get new passport pictures for the visa application. Three of them.
  4. Learn enough Spanish! Ain’t gonna happen. Not in time, anyway.
Looks like I finished most of the paperwork! Time for the to-do-list. Number four  is the biggest questionmark.
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