I dislike that I have to make a correction already, but my enthusiasm misled me. Luciano does not yet have his visa. The paperwork I saw last week was the receipt for the visa application. Luciano still needs to go to the embassy for an interview to get the visa. This is so different than the visa process I use here in the United States where I just get a money order and mail it to Travisa in San Francisco and they do it all for me. Still, I remain happy and optimistic that I will get word of his visa finalization any day now. Once we have the visa we can decide when Luciano will arrive.
Luciano will have more than the issue of competing at Worlds to deal with. At least I think these are issues of concern:
(1) Culture shock. This trip will present a multitude of “firsts” for Luciano. First plane ride, first time in America where everything is bigger, faster, and in greater abundance. Different food (and more food available than he has ever known) and the language barrier. I am reminded of my first trip to Brazil where the language barrier was a big shock. I plan to have someone more fluent in Portuguese than myself available to make him more comfortable. In Brazil having less food available and food that was fresh and unprocessed was a huge bonus for me!
(2) Jet lag. I want him on the west coast, at minimum, a few days before the tournament.
My issues – come on, they are of no-less importance than his, right?
(1) Fly into Seattle or Southern California? Flying Luciano into Seattle makes things a lot easier on me. I can pick him up, he can train at my gym (FosterBJJ), and then we go to Worlds later in the week. As a blue belt he won’t compete until Thursday or Friday according to the schedule. AND if I fly him back to Brazil from Seattle then I can send a couple of bags of donated gis with him. [It is always my intention to send donated gis with people I know traveling to Brazil. In fact I may time my trip to Brazil so that I depart with him so I can also bring gis and get a car to bring him home and deliver gis.]
(2) I am still working when Worlds rolls around. This will really cramp my style. Our school year does not finish until June 18. However, I have already told myself that this is a meaningful occasion and certainly worthy of missing work for. Right?
I already have many people to thank as these preparations continue; Jean, for handling all of the details in Brazil. I could not do this without him; Kerstin Pakter and Hyperfly (www.doordie.com) who has not hesitated to be of assistance. Hyperfly will donate a new gi to Luciano to wear in competition as well as Hyperfly gear to look swag in. Hyperfly will also pay his registration fee; Kris Shaw and BJJ Legends magazine who is helping promote this endeavor and is a great sounding board for me; Giva Santana who has offered to coach Luciano at the tournament and offered training space at Lotus Club Irvine; Team Foster who eagerly awaits Luciano’s arrival and the opportunity to introduce him to some Pacific Northwest BJJ.
Keepa you fingas crossed about da visa!