14 August 2013
Yesterday I knew there was no way possible for me to stay in Europe for the next semester and study in Portugal. I was ready to go home. Luckily I have had a wonderful summer in Europe already and I was willing to face that. What girl gets to backpack Europe, attend a business seminar at Oxford, tour Portugal, and then study 2 incredible months at Cambridge University?Cambridge has been one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life. I have learned so much about the diversity and similarities of the world. Cambridge is a melting pot of all the best minds from every corner of the earth. It is a University that offers so much to those who dedicate themselves to it. I have loved every moment I have been here, and because of that I knew I could face the disappointment of not being able to study in Portugal.
Friends are a dime a dozen, but TRUE friends are rare as diamonds. I do not know why I have been so blessed, yet I have had numerous diamond friends in my life. Kailey has spent her entire weekend trying to figure out how to make Portugal a reality for me. I have learned that sometimes you cannot take no for an answer. You cannot walk away no matter how hard something is or no matter how impossible it seems to be. At 6:15 yesterday evening there was no way that I was going to be able to find a way to study in Portugal with or without my visa. It would have to be a miracle for that to happen.
Well, a miracle happened. Through Kailey and her father’s persuasion, the San Francisco Portuguese Embassy decided that I can get my visa through them, since I am a US citizen. All I have to do is get fingerprinted, submit them to the FBI for a record check, and send all my documents with my passport to the Embassy in San Francisco. They will then look over my application and (fingers crossed) put my visa in my passport and send it bak to me– It is a whole lot to do, but I will gladly do it! I will have to stay in Portugal while my passport is in the states and hope that it comes back to me within the 90 limit my Schengen Visa allows me to stay. I got permission from ISCTE to study without my visa, on my honor that I will submit it to them as soon as I receive it. It has been a crazy journey and it is not even close to be through–but I have learned SO MUCH through it all. This experience has been a testimony to me that miracles do happen to those who are willing to suffer through challenges and humble themselves before God. Kailey has been a great example of just how far faith can go in reaping miracles.
After spending all day Monday trying to work with the Portuguese Embassy in London, we returned to the White’s home frustrated and mentally exhausted. The last thing on my mind was to put aside all my frustration and humble myself in spite of my adversity. Kailey, faithful and fearless, insisted that we kneel down and thank God for all the good things we have experienced since we have been in Europe. We have spent all summer studying at World-class Institutions, traveling throughout Europe, and developing friendships that will forever bless our lives. She prayed for comfort in whatever may happen and for out minds to be clear- that we may be able to understand what we need to do. Since that prayer, I have seen God’s hand in every aspect of my life. We were able to switch Embassies from London to San Francisco, a complete miracle. This was something I had never considered, as I have been residing in the UK for nearly the past three months. Some may think of this experience as pure luck, but if they have walked in my footsteps for the past month they would understand how my life has been nothing less than a string of miracles.