Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Most interesting border crossing so far!  We went to the border about 1:00.  We got our immigration papers with no problem and then we had to get "permission" for the truck and trailer.  Thats when we found out that in 2008 when we went home the van and the trailer were never enetered in their system as having left the country again.  The reason for this is that in recent history it had become less expensive to buy a good used vehicle in the US and take it to Mexico and sell it.  It was killing the Mexican automobile business and in order to protect their own economy (forget fair trade) they implimented a system where you have to give them a bunch of money when you enter with a vehicle and then give you back about 1/2 when you leave the country again.  Because the van and trailer were in the system as having stayed in the country I was not allowed to take another vehicle in and the could have actually detained me.  They knew the trailer had left the country because it was now going back in but the only way they would accept that I hadn't sold the van in Mexico was to bring the van to the border!  The option they presented was for Kendra to get the permission for the truck and trailer.  New problem - truck registered in my name and trailer registered in the company name (I had a letter of permission signed by Boyd to use the company trailer so it would have been OK if I would have been able to get the permission).  Because the truck was in my name then I had to prove Kendra was my spouse before they would give her permission.  As for the trailer I just redid the letter with Kendra's name on it instead of mine and instaed of Boyd's signature I signed it so the trailer wasn't a problem anymore.  Now you would think that it wouldn't be a big deal to prove we were married.  Guess again!  First they asked for her birth certificate.  Found an electronic copy but then they wanted a birth certificate of one of the kids or a marriage certificate.  Called home and Adelbert and Tabitha found a copy of Zac's birth certificate in his photo album and a couple of letters from lawyers giving Kendra permission to travel with the kids (from previous trips when we didn't go in the same vehicle or when I was working and couldn't take off as much time).  Scanned, emailed and then printed out on our end.  Not good enough - only a marriage certificate would do.  We tried to explain that we didn't even know if we had gotten one and that they were not an important piece of identification in Canada like they are in Mexico.  Asked if we could prove the van was still registered in Alberta if that would be OK and they said no.  I have to phone some government department in Mexico City to "clear my name".  They said it would take at least 1 month for that process.  Our friends tried making some phone calls to their friends in high places but it was sunday afternoon and we didn't get to the right person.  Finally Babara (aka Babby) talked to her and told her our whole life story and they finally let us go through (still took about 45 minutes after they agreed to let us go to get the rest of the paperwork done).  All together it was about 6 1/2 hours at the border but God is good and we did go through in the end.  No need to question why or to get frustrated like so many people do with so many things in life.

PS  The picture is my portable "office" set up in the border crossing building!

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