We have made major additions to our picture gallery (see the menu link on the left). We have added a new album for the 8th trip (the pictures without people in them), called Philippines8. We have also added several sub-albums in the “Dave, Malen, & Family” main album. These include pictures of people taken during Dave’s 8th trip in an album called “The Eighth Meeting!,” pictures from our wedding, A few pictures taken at Thanksgiving, and finally some pictures of us at a progressive political rally in Sequim.
It’s been a LONG time since we have posted anything new here. That is because so many things have been happening! It is already December!! Well, since August SO much has happened! I scheduled another trip to go and see Malen and the kids in the Philippines. I left on September 5th and was scheduled to return on September 26th.
Before I left, we received word from the USCIS that our petition had been approved! Then, within a day or two of my departure, we learned that the National Visa Center (NVC) had forwarded it on to the US embassy in Manila, and we got a case number (what we needed to schedule the interview at the embassy). At this point, we knew there was a possibility that we could complete everything while I was with the family in the Philippines. But on a sad note, a week or so before I left I lost my dog of 15 years, Candi-Louise, who passed away.
So, once I arrived, we got busy with all the steps and processing that was needed to finish the visa process. Malen and the kids had to have a ton of paperwork, including passports, birth certificates, police clearances, and a lot more. Malen and the kids had to have medical examinations, which was a two-day process. Malen scheduled her interview with the embassy, but when we arrived we found out that the embassy did not have her her documentation from the NVC yet. So we waited until we could confirm they had the documentation package, and scheduled the interview again.
The interview was long and grueling, taking the entire day. At the end, instead of getting the visas approved as we expected, our case was put in administrative review for two weeks. Finally we heard that our case had been submitted for “visa issuance.” but days later, still no visas. I had to extend my 21–day stay by getting an extension. I was running out of my medications and we had to vacate Malen’s condo because it had been sold. After sending an angry email to the embassy about the delay, our case was put BACK into administrative review (and we were told it could take up to two months)! We were forced to move to another location on a temporary basis.
Finally, towards the end of October, we were told the visas had been approved and were submitted for printing! Once we verified that the delivery service had picked them up from the embassy, we went to their warehouse and finally had our visas in hand! So finally, we had to book our flights to the US, the kids had to attend mandatory counseling (CFO), and Malen had to go and pick up her CFO certificate. Then, after 2 1/2 years of waiting, anxiety, frustration, and hardship, on October 31st, all 5 of us boarded a plane to come to the US!
During this extended stay in the Philippines, and even with so much going on, Malen and I were able to squeeze in a short visit with our great friends Mike and Cathy. In addition, they came and spend a week with us while we were in the new and temporary living space. We also had Malen’s mom and pop come and visit us for a couple of days.
The last little hitch that happened before we left the Philippines was that the flight we booked was delayed for 9 hours. We went to the Delta office at the airport and they put us on different flights so that we did not have to wait another day. We ended up flying from Manila to Nagoya, Japan, then to Detroit, and finally to Seattle. A VERY long day of flying. As a result, Malen and the kids had to go through immigration in Detroit instead of Seattle, and we arrived in Seattle in the afternoon instead of in the morning. So, we stayed at a hotel near Seatac airport on October 31st, and drove up to Sequim the next day (November 1st).
Once the long flights were over and we landed on the 31st, everything has been great and wonderful. Malen and the kids have experienced American coffee shops and restaurants, Jedd has started his last year of high school, Yeng & April will start attending Peninsula College in January, we have been to Costco several times, as well as WalMart, Home Depot, and Ross, and Malen and I were married on November 18th!!
There is still a lot to do, including getting Social Security Numbers, processing Adjustment of Status for Malen and the kids, looking into getting jobs, and adding Malen to all my accounts. But we are together as a family, and that makes everything else easy!!
Well, I have just returned from visiting my sweetie Malen and the kids. I was gone for about 18 days or so, and spent some of the time in the Condo in Quezon city (where Malen and the kids live), a few days with Malen’s family in Iloilo, a few days at a resort in Bohol, a couple of nights in Cebu City, and one day-trip to Camaya Coast. I have not put up any pictures to our gallery here yet (“Our Pictures!” on the main menu), but Malen has uploaded a lot to our FaceBook page. So, check them out! It will take me some time to get them added here.
This time I flew on EVA Air, and the experience was mostly positive. Unfortunately, their limited flight schedule from Seattle required a departure time of 1:00 AM. On the return trip, I also had a 8-hour layover in Taipei. I am returning again this March, and this time I am trying Asiana.
Weather in Sequim sucks right now, days are short, lots of rain, and depressing constant overcast. About this time of year I always start counting the days until the Winter Solstice (12/21 or 12/22) – the shortest day of the year. After that, the days will get a little longer each day.
Malen and I are still waiting for the decision on her annulment to be made and registered. Then we can FINALLY begin the K1 Fiancee Visa process. 90 days from the Order of Decision, which was on 10/26/2010, is supposed to be the maximum amount of time before the decision is made. Then there is a 15-day wait for the decision to be registered. We checked on the status while I was there (after 30 days), but there was nothing new. Malen will make another inquiry in January.
I’m heading out today to spend some time with Malen and the kids in The Philippines! Candi-Louise will be staying with a neighbor, and my sister Sue will be staying here at my house for part of the time I am gone.
Malen and I are STILL waiting for the decision on her annulment. It is due to be made anytime in the next 60 days.
Well, I am back in Sequim after spending three weeks with my darling Malen. We spent the first week in Hong Kong and Macau, China (along with Yeng – Malen’s oldest daughter). We then spent the remaining two weeks at Malen’s place in Quezon City (near Manila). Even though I got sick the last week, this was another wonderful time for Malen and me. Whenever we are together, the fact that we were made for each other becomes more and more clear. Now, we are both going thru hugging and kissing withdrawal!!
We did also visit the site of our future vacation condo at Camaya Coast on one saturday. Other than that, we spent some times at various malls, visited Malen’s place of work a couple of times, and did some fixing up of the condo where Malen is living (and will be buying as well).
Lot’s of pictures were taken, but I have none on my photo site yet. However, Malen has uploaded many of them to our FaceBook page (DaveandMalen Desautel), so check them out!
After next week, I will again be flying to the other side of the world to spend some time with my darling Malen. We will be meeting in Hong Kong, and spending a few days there before going home to the Manila area (Quezon City). Malen and I, along with the kids, continue to move towards our future together. We are in love and committed to making that future happen, regardless of the time needed and the cost. We are about 7 months into Malen’s annulment process, and are hoping it can be completed by March. After that we have to start the immigration process, which can be another 3-12 months (the US stacks the cards against people trying to come here from the poorer countries in the world – even with a US citizen involved).
At the end of this month, I will turn 63 years old. It is difficult to have to wait so long for the future Malen and I want and deserve, but we will get to it. While I am there, we will once again visit the Camaya Coast resort and residential project, where we are buying a condo (investment, future vacation home, and future income property). Malen and Yeng are living in a condo in Quezon City, near Manila. Malen will be getting a loan to buy this condo, and it will also be a source of revenue once Malen and the kids come to the US. Jedd and April are staying in a boarding house near their school during the week, and coming to Quezon City on weekends.
It is winter here in Sequim, and the weather has been cold and cloudy. We have has a fair amount of rain as well. But it is quiet and peaceful here, and the days are getting a little longer as time passes. Candi-Louise will be 14 as of May this year. Pretty old for a dog, but she is doing well. Unfortunately, the “pet resort” where I usually leave her when I travel will not be open during this trip. I have made boarding arrangements with the vet that I take Candi to, but their facilities are not as comfortable as the pet resort, and she will not get as much personal attention. Hopefully, she will be OK.
Well, I have just returned from spending three great weeks with my sweetie Malen (and the kids). I left on October 21st, and returned November 8th. That is almost three weeks!
After arriving and spending a couple of days at Malen’s place in the Manila area (including some site-seeing to historic Intramuros and a large aquarium), Malen and I flew to Phuket, Thailand for a week. We spent the time at a nice resort called Aochalong Villa. The beach was not good for swimming, but the pool was great and the view beautiful. The on-site restaurant was also great. Unfortunately, the 2nd day there I began to come down with some flu-like crud that lasted almost for the rest of the Philippines trip! Some fever, sore throat, coughing, and nose & chest congestion. I still have some residual symptoms from this!
So, the time we spent in Phuket was low-key. We spent a lot of time in and around the pool, and in local pharmacy stores! However, having brought a Little Richard CD with us, I had to get up and dance – sick or not! The video Malen took is on YouTube, here is a link!
As you can see, Malen had a good time taping me on her camera!
After Phuket, we spent another couple of days at Malen’s place (we also went to Laguna, where I met Malen’s mother, sister, brother, and families!), then We gathered up the kids and went to Boracay for a week! This is a beautiful place with great beaches, and we all had a great time. We did a lot of swimming, and I almost lost Malen on the flying fish ride (like a large, wide air mattress, pulled behind a speed boat, and when going into the wind, it becomes ALMOST air-borne!). The food was great and the weather was OK.
After we returned from Boracay, I had a final few days at Malen’s before having to return to the US. On one of those days, Malen, Yeng, and I had a free tour of the Camaya Coast resort and residential development, where I am buying a condominium! This is a pre-sale (construction is ongoing and the condo will be done in 2011), and is a good investment. The value is expected to increase dramatically by the time the construction is done. This will also be a place to stay when we visit the Philippines, and when we are not there it can be rented out as a source of income. Visit the link above to see how beautiful the place mis. We had a great day there, and did some more swimming.
So, that is it for now. Check the photo gallery (on the menu at the left) as I am slowly adding pictures from this trip. The pictures that include family members are in a new “We Meet Again” sub-album, under the “Pictures of Dave & Malen” album. The rest of the pictures are in a new “Phillipines2” album.
Since my Malen was not given a tourist visa so that she could come and visit, I will be going to her instead. We have planned another trip for me to Manila, and then Malen and I will fly to Phuket in Thailand to spend some time together. After that we will come back to Manila, and then fly to Boracay in the Philippines, with the kids, to spend some family time there. Then it will be back to Manila, and a couple days later I will return to the US.
From here, we are still waiting for Malen’s annulment process to end. At that point we need to decide whether we will attempt to have her come here to the US on a Fiancee visa (K1) and get married here, or whether we will get married in the Philippines or Hong Kong, and then apply for her to come to the US on a spousal visa (K3 or CR1). There are no simple and fast solutions, and there are pros and cons to each path, but we are committed to the goal of being married and being a family living here in the US.
In the mean time, I am continuing with yard work every day (while the weather lasts), and I have some medical procedures coming up (colonoscopy and eye surgery to remove a pterygium) prior to my trip to the Philippines.
Regarding the Internet and my web sites, the family photo album on this site (“Pictures of Dave & Malen” on the main menu above) has not been updated yet, but I have pictures from my trip back East to upload, and some additional pictures of the house and land here as well. Keep an eye out for these updates. I have removed the bulletin board software from my “Reverse Spin” site and will be changing to something else, like another blog site, soon. The Reverse Spin is a political commentary site. The Boomer Blog is still up and running fine, and I am posting there periodically, including political posts that may move to The Reverse Spin eventually. The Photos R Free site, a semi-commercial photo site of my pictures, has not been updated in a long time, but I have lots of great pictures to add when I get time.
Finally, some exciting news (for me)! I have finally found a way to publish my poetry, which is something I have wanted to do for MANY years! As a result, the “My Life in a Poem” site will not contain my poetry, but will be a site describing and discussing my poetry, with some samples, and with information about where you can go to buy my published poetry. This will be coming soon! I am publishing an electronic version for the Amazon Kindle, AND a paperback version (6″ by 9″) as well! Watch for it!!
I have recently returned from spending a few days in the Providence, RI and the Attleboro/Plainville, MA areas with my brother and cousin. My cousin, Pam, lives in Rhode Island and my brother lives in the San Francisco area. We all spent our early childhood on the East Coast however. My family lived in North Attleboro and Plainville, and Pam grew up in Providence.
The occasion for this trip was my brother’s 50th reunion at King Phillip High School in Wrenthem, MA. So we spent time locating and taking pictures of the houses where we and relatives lived in that area. Unlike the West coast, the old houses on the East coast are not as often torn down to make way for something new. We were able to locate three places we had lived in Plainville, and several other houses where relatives had lived.
All three of us attended the dinner for the reunion (Pam and I were guests), and Pam and I danced our butts off to the oldies (on a roomy dance floor). Walking the next day was a little tough though!
I will be adding a new album to my picture gallery called “Where Dave Came From.” Watch for it!
Well, retirement has been very busy, but I will be taking some time to do some travelling. At the end of this month I will be going to the Philippines to visit an online friend, and in August I am going to join my brother on a trip to the East coast to visit the areas where we lived as children. He is attending a 50th anniversary at a high school went to, but the rest of the time we will be visiting places where we lived. We will also visit with some relatives.
I have never been to the Philippines, and I am looking forward to visiting and learning about the culture. My friend and I will be spending some time on Palawan (one of the islands where there are a lot of resorts. This will be a “get to know each other” trip with a goal of seeing if we might have a future together.
My family came from the North Attleboro area of Massacheucetts. I was born in North Attlebore, and we lived in a town called Plainville. My memories from that time period are sparse, but I have a lot of pictures in my head that I can match with places I will see while we are back there.