My wife, daughter and I have begun to make final preparations for our trip to Aotearoa. We head to Honolulu on Saturday and from there leave for Auckland on Sunday. Our travel arrangements were finalized over a month ago, and we’re now simply preparing our final checklists and making sure nothing is forgotten.
I spent some time this evening going through my computer bag, and found a manila folder full of documents from our aborted trip to Ireland. Contained within it were the refusal letters we were handed after being turned back from the Dublin airport, a faxed copy of the GNIB superintendent’s denial of our appeal, and other documents we collected while trying to clear our way to return. While I didn’t read any of them fully, simply glancing at them put a knot in my gut again. There were also copies of the many correspondences we received from our friends in Eire, and also from people whom we have never met, but who offered words of support and encouragement. They joined a pile which included the letter which contained the results of the farcical “investigation” conducted by the the Dial on the incident. I should submit it and the superintendent’s letter to the Pulitzer Prize committee for consideration by in the “fiction” category.
Hardly a day doesn’t go by when I don’t think about our experience, wondering what would have happened if we had arrived a different day, picked a different line to stand in at the immigration checkpoint, or if I hadn’t moved forward to join my wife and daughter. While I know we are much better prepared for this time around, visas in hand and no doubts at all about my daughter’s school or Aotearoa’s policies on dependents of students, I can’t help but feel a bit of apprehension. Perhaps it is a good thing, and we’ll be better prepared. We will know for sure in a few days, and God willing my next post will be from Dunedin. Wish us luck.