Sunday, October 20, 2013

Grace Hopper India !!!

I found out a few days ago that one of the proposals that I had submitted was accepted at Grace Hopper India !!

Yaaaaay !!

It's a hands-on workshop for which I did the curriculum and it's called "Getting your Hands Dirty with the RaspberryPi."  I have a bunch of great co-authors - Lakshmi, Shweta, Laxmi and Geetha.  We're going to rock it!

And then came the first of a series of gauntlets....

- Funding for my trip
- Days off from work although I can work from the VMware Bangalore office.  I have several colleagues that I work with on a routine basis and it would be good to be in their location for a change.
- VISA - !!  Oh my god - what a nightmare!
      First I had to get letters from India and from the US, then fill out two forms.  Minimum processing time was quoted at two weeks which meant I didn't have enough time to go the regular route.  So, I drove up to SF to try to talk to someone to see if I could expedite things.  After standing and waiting around in multiple lines and being re-directed, I finally got to the right counter when my number was called.  And then it turned out that because my OCI card is not on my current US passport (it's on my old passport) and because I got my OCI card in 2006 when they first started giving them out, I didn't have a renunciation certificate.  And the introduction of the renunciation certificate occurred at some point after 2006.  Great!  And to get the renunciation form submitted, they needed my naturalization certificate - are you kidding me!

So, back to San Jose, digging through old paperwork, looking for a document from 20 years ago....

After several hours of frantic digging, I finally found it.

And then headed back up to SF the following day.  And spent several hours waiting for my number to get called.  And after 15 minutes going through all the paperwork (this time I took every certificate, passport, form I could think of with me), they accepted my forms and I was lucky enough to have an extra $32 for the extra form.  And another $100 put me in the "Urgent Visa" line which should get me a turnaround of 5 days or so, I'm told.

And I was told to return for my passport + visa on Monday 5p.  Let's hope I finally get it.