hey there! Sorry for the late update. We had a fantastic time in Ventura. :) Friday we drove down to LA to meet with our ex-roommate (he’s engaged in a PhD Program at UCLA now). It was good to see him. He had changed a bit. Grown up.
We went out for dinner to a Thai food Restaurant *yummy* and then walked around Westwood. It’s a nice part of LA. It actually didn’t feel like being in a big city at all. Then just drove “down the street” to Santa Monica and went for a walk along the beach and to the Santa Monica Pier. There was a lot going on Friday nights, all the lights were turned on, the little fair (that I’ve only seen closed so far) was open and we took a ride on the ferris wheel. It was fun :) Unfortunately we couldn’t see very far, because it was too dark, but instead the whole atmosphere was pretty nice with ocean roaring in the background.
Saturday morning we went out for Brunch with Jon’s parents and I had *yummy in my tummy* Belgian Waffle with fresh strawberries and cream :) I just couldn’t resist.
Afterwards Jon’s Mom treated me to a shopping trip and we bought cute brown pants and a matching beige knit top for me and some shirts for Jon. It was fun! Jon’s Mom is so cute, she said she likes shopping with me, because she never had a daughter to do that with *lol*
In the evening we had BBQ ribs and later on watched a movie together. It was from the 60’s, was called “Morgan” and it really was strange, but entertaining :)
Sunday morning we accompanied Jon’s parents to church and afterwards took off to drive back to Sacramento. I didn’t really look forward to being in the car again. Luckily we made it home in 5,5 hours, when I was reunited with my notebook :)Ã‚Â I had missed it so much!
We made a big salad for dinner and then I caught up on my mail and other stuff. I had 4 swap packages in the mailbox when we came home, which was definitely an awesome surprise :)
Yesterday was pretty busy at work. I had to fill out more paperwork for the University Foundation for my J-1 status (don’t ask me why) and then I got a call from my new sponsor office and they wanted to know if my degree is equivalent to a Master’s degree.
So I spent half the afternoon with research on that matter, so I would have some links to provide and I also was asked to write up an explanation of the German education system and the specifications of my degree.
Since our server was down in the afternoon, I couldn’t finish that email and went home and spent half the evening on it, before I sent it off.
At least it was worth the effort, as I had an email from both my boss and the sponsor office in my mailbox this morning with comments like “good job”, “great documentation” and so on :) So I am sure this is sufficient information that my “Staatsexamen” is equivalent to a Masters Degree.
Well, but one thing seems to work out and another hurdle comes up. I feel like on a roller coaster.
Even though my visa states that I am not subject to the two-year home requirement (which applies to some J-1 visas and means that you have to return to your home country for two years, before you can apply for a new visa), the lady from the USGS International Program Office told me that I am.
I talked to her on the phone today and explained to her that my visa doesn’t say so, but she said that I was receiving money for my internship and therefore was sponsored by the government (one reason for when the two-year home requirement rule applies).
This is, in fact, not exactly true as I was told I can’t be sponsored by the U.S. Geological Survey (because they are a government agency!) and I was hired through a student appointment by the University on which Campus our office is located.
It’s all so confusing and I think that even the lady from the International Program Office who should know how things work, doesn’t know a damn thing. Is this any news to me? NO! But I am getting pissed off. :(
She said she’ll call me back tomorrow, so I’ll keep you posted.
@ Cath: I got your letter, hun! Thank you soooo much! It made my day!
@ Sanni: Can’t wait to get yours and listen to the great music :)
@ Ilka: BIG BEAR HUG! You know why!