Unexpected help from above
Missionary doctors John’s passports are expiring soon. But the Peruvian registration offices remain closed to the public. Time was ticking against us, since we wanted to return to Curahuasi at the start of next week. What should we do? On Thursday the German-Peruvians spent a good three hours in a queue in front of the “Banco de la Nación” in order to pay the required fee. Each of them paid the cashier 98.50 Soles in the sad certainty that the passports would never be ready in time.
The Johns sat in the Colegio Médico del Peru, the National Medical Chamber, for two hours on Friday. They had been told that they would be given the temporary doctor’s licence for one of the new missionary doctors. But as so often in Peru nothing was prepared and nobody present knew any about it. “Do not worry, just come back in a few days!” The official’s words that were meant to calm us had the opposite effect.
After some telephone calls the Johns had to wait and see. They paused while doing a Sudoku to pray and asked God for his help. And amazingly at 1:30p.m. a secretary from the upper floors came down to us and presented us with the desired document. Miracles are possible in Peru.
A taxi then brought the Johns to the Avenida España. At the central registration authority they wanted to reconnoitre if and how it is possible to get a new passport in this time of crisis. Naturally all entrances were locked and the road in front of the building was pretty empty. But, fortunately, an open door in a side alley was found that led to two information booths in the building’s Hall A.
First of all though the hands and the shoes had to be disinfected. So the Johns, cleansed on the inside and the outside finally stood at a window, but the lady sitting behind it had no good news: “Only next week can you book an appointment online and unfortunately passports are currently not being issued for the common populus.”
Martina John retorted: “We live in Apurímac. The journey there and back takes at least 28 hours!” Her husband took out a press article and informed the lady about Diospi Suyana’s work in a few sentences. And then it happened. One of the authority’s directors happened to come along the corridor at just that moment, recognised the Johns, despite them wearing their “bank-robbery-masks”, from a TV-documentary and said: “You do great work for Peru. I will help you!”
He led the two startled doctors along corridors and up a staircase to one of the many offices. “We need two passports!” The tone in his voice left no room for any opposition. While the Johns gave their fingerprints the whole process was filmed and protocolled by the authority’s PR-team. “What do you think of our service?” asked an internal press-relations officer. “We are absolutely delighted,” answered Klaus John from the bottom of his heart.
Back in the guest house they get a call. “Your passports will be ready by ten o’clock tomorrow!” On Saturday morning – outside of any opening hours – the missionary doctors John received their Christmas present early: their new passports.
We thank God that this director not only came by at exactly the right moment, but also recalled a TV-documentary about Diospi Suyana. His noble heart caused him to act totally unbureaucratically. It is wonderful to live in Peru. Muchas gracias!