Posted by: astrom36 | November 20, 2013

Industrial-sized Vent

This isn’t the easiest post I have had to write.

Sorphorn and I are still in the beginning stages of the visa process.  We are STILL waiting for them to approve our petition so that we may actually begin to apply for the visa.  We are (mostly) ready.  We have nearly all the required paperwork ready to go, but have nowhere to send it.  They said 5 months, it has been 6.  They said 60 days, it has been 70+.  Yeah, we are all frustrated about that, but at the same time, there is one nagging thing on my mind.

I still do not have a job.

I don’t know what it is.  Maybe it is that I am unwilling to leave Sorphorn for an undetermined amount of time (meaning, I still live in Cambodia).  Maybe it is that I don’t have a solid “start/return” date.  Maybe not a single employer actually understands what Peace Corps does.  “Why does this dirty hippy think he is qualified for this job?  What does going out in the sticks for two years have to do with project management?” FFFFFUUUUUUUUUUdge…  You’ve got to be kidding me.

Yes, I did live in a small village for two years.  No, I never wore a tie-die shirt, I dressed professionally, every day.  I wore slacks and dress shirts to work.  Yes, work.  I, nearly single-handedly (until it came time for translations), created a resource not only for volunteers, but also for national counterparts.  I managed to write, receive and complete a grant for a separate project that… and get this… I managed.  It wasn’t a local project for my village either.  It was national.

I’m fed up with it.  Maybe it is something else, but it feels like employers are completely dismissing the experience I gained over the last two years.  Do they honestly believe that working in Louisiana is more difficult, requires more skills, than trying to do it in Cambodia?  Pure ignorance.  I had a project completely fail because a contractor in my village, the only willing to listen, only preferred “big” jobs.  He wanted to build big buildings.  Not some mere basketball court.  The others, they did not know how, even though we had the plans in their native language.  That wouldn’t happen in the states.

I am a bit bitter right now.

I want this visa more than anyone.  Within a second of seeing Sorphorn and I together, you will know how much in love we are.  We do not have to work hard at all to prove it.  My family loves her the same.  They want us back home.  We want to go home.  When we visited, I saw how they interacted.  They talked on Skype a few times, but in person, it is much more real.  After that, I had no worries about whether it would all fit.  Just a few days after arrival, we announced our engagement and everyone was ecstatic.

And now, the final piece before we can come home is a job for me.  I need to be able to support her.  Yes, we have the FULL backing of my family.  Anything we need, we have, but America can be fickle sometimes.  I do not want to give any reason for them to deny us.  And finances is the only reason they could.

I am about to resort to begging or…anything to shore up that last piece of the puzzle.  I grew up wanting, needing to earn my own.  I hated/hate asking for money.  I absolutely loath to do it.  Over the years, it was necessary and my parents never said no or complained, but I always preferred to do it on my own.  And maybe that is my problem.  I am too afraid, too unwilling to ask for help.

Today, my current distance should not be a problem for interviews.  Skype and internet exist, even in Cambodia.

What I am saying is… be on the lookout for me.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that we desperately need to get away from here.  Yes, there are nagging things, but the family here outweighs that.  We are not trying to get away from here.  We are just trying to go home.  Cambodia will always stay with us and we will visit as often as we can, but America, or Louisiana are calling.

This is me getting over my ridiculous, at times harmful pride.  My search has been too narrow.

Friends, Family, if you see anything, let me know.  Put in a good word and all that.  I have no doubt, whatever the job, I can do it.

Hmm… I don’t even have to earn $20,000 a year.  Just under that.

In other news, Sorphorn and I are happy.  We have the visa on our minds, but we are together and we are happy.  All I can say is, we hope to be home soon.  It may not be when we like, but we will be home eventually.  That’s the most important thing to remember when we are frustrated with the process.  That, and that we are still together.  This process would be unbearable if we were apart.

I hope this post wasn’t too depressing, but after venting… a cliché has been lifted off my cliché.



  1. Hey Ace! I don’t know how you guys are applying for a spouse/fiancee visa, but my dad is doing the same thing you are and has been waiting so long and already got rejected once. But a big thing that helped was hiring a lawyer. It made a huge difference because they know the little things to do that aren’t on the forms. He has a lawyer who only works with couples like you and my dad and does it for really cheap, because he had to go through it once himself. Let me know if you’re interested and I’ll get his contact information for you.

  2. Ace,
    Contact Sam, see what we need to do,
    do not worry about money. Remember
    to keep your faith and pray hard and
    demand that God hears you and Sophie
    and I promise he will hear you both.
    Your mom and I pray hard everyday,
    and it WILL HAPPEN sooner than you think.

    Love You Both,

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