Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Oh, Canada! (revised)

That's right... to Canada we go. I could use a little help, eh?

David and I will be traveling to Canada on February 14th -19th for a married couples retreat. We are part of a lay movement known as Domestic Church and will be providing a married couples retreat in Lake Charles over the summer for the members of DC here. (PS- let me know if you're interested in coming to a retreat or joining). At this point, the retreat we wish to facilitate is still written in Polish (click here if you're confused) because the Movement started there and we are going to experience the retreat... spoken in Polish... with translators (phew)... while in Canada.

Now while this IS a family retreat, we added up the logistics of our trip and measured them against how burdensome it would be to our sweet little olive plants: 1) Flying from LC to Houston to Buffalo 2) Driving from Buffalo to Toronto for 3 hours 3) Canada in the Wintertime... totally burdensome. So we are leaving our precious babies at home. I am pretty sad; 6 days is a very long time. I have actually never spent this much time away from my children. Deep Breaths.

So here's the big question... just how "bad" or "good" is Canada in the winter?

Is it this?
Or this?

And PS, we were told that we're also being taken to Niagara Falls upon arrival... apparently it's "right there."

Deep breaths, everyone, deep breaths.

Revised ed:

I remember someone's blog warned me against a restaurant that did bad business, and I feel the need to warn you against bad business as well. 

See this url? Don't forget it... and don't use it. I have to get a new passport with my married name. In the process of a google search for the proper website, this is the first one on the list. They're slogan is this:
Officially Authorized by the U.S. Department of State
To Expedite Your U.S. Passport (Non-Government Based Service)

 It is what it says it is- an expedited passport service, but is a superfluous expedited service. Basically, I was told by an agent that the "post office" (i.e. not their service) could not provide me with my passport in time (February 14), and that their service was the only way to do so (8 to 14 business days). So through their service, I paid $130 ($100 to expedite and $30 FEDEX shipping fee. And we could use no other form of shipping... only FedEx) to expedite the name change/new passport process, and then I was also required to send in the $170 fee along with the correct documentation in order to receive the passport. $170:  $110 for a new passport and $60 to expedite.   WAIT A SECOND .... 60 dollars to expedite? What was the other $100? 

So David called the post office and asked about their services(actual Govt. expedited service), and he was told that we would have my passport in 2 to 3 weeks with their expedited services (which the agent from the website told me was non-existent). That's plenty of time for us. So the agent  1) didn't have the right information to begin with or 2) gave me untrue information.

So what's the problem, Kate, just cancel.You see that it was non-govt based. Well, I did, but there is a $50 non-refundable fee that I "authorized" by clicking a check next to something in fine print. So when David asked to speak to a supervisor he was told that he could not. That he could only email a formal complaint. David (my knight) didn't give up and said something like, "So the person who answers these emails doesn't have a phone next to them in which to speak to me?" The answer was no no no.

Lesson: Some people are evil and drum up ways to make money. Some people just work for them. Don't shoot the messenger. So I will be praying that the two ladies we spoke with are able to find other jobs to support themselves and that the person who started and profits from US Passort Now has one serious conversion before he dies.I mean a serious one. I feel totally deceived, and I want to move out of this country where people can just make up businesses that exploit people for money. I'm thinking his thought process is this: Well most people will figure out that we're not totally necessary, so we'll make them pay us early on THAT way, we'll still get at least $50 out of them from some sort of non-refundable fee.

I will say what I said earlier in the post. Deep breaths, everyone, deep breaths... now on to confession.


Kari said...

Hey Kate, we would love to attend meetings for Domestic Church or a short retreat. We are very interested, just don't have the means for a babysitter for a long weekend. Please keep us updated. God Bless.

jennygen said...

Report them on, angie's list, better business bureau and I've learned the hard way to ALWAYS check before paying for anything. OR you can go through your bank to dispute payment once payment posts to your account. Also done that one more than a few times. Good luck :)