Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Bangladesh Visit Canceled...

Missionary Dave Koenig once told me that a missionary needs to be flexible, adaptable, and able to roll with the punches...well, I'm getting more practice. 

Today I was supposed to fly to Dhaka, Bangladesh for a long-awaited visit. When I checked in for my flight in St. Louis I was asked if I had a visa for Bangladesh. I told the agent that I would be getting my visa on arrival. She clicked around on her computer and said great, I see that is available for U.S. citizens. I flew to Chicago.

When I arrived in Chicago I went to my gate to get my boarding passes for my next two flights. The agent asked if I had a Bangladesh visa, I told her that I would get my visa on arrival in Bangladesh. She clicked around on her computer for a while and then told me that I was not eligible for a visa on arrival. I was prepared (or at least I thought I was) for this so I dug out the visa on arrival information sheets I had printed off from the Bangladesh Embassy website just a few days ago. She looked them over and then told me that apparently, things had changed in the last few days. I was convinced that she just wasn't reading things correctly so I asked for a supervisor and then showed him the same thing I had shown the gate agent. He looked at the information from the embassy website and said it looked like I should be OK. He took all of my paperwork and went to go make some phone calls to verify the visa requirements. I'm not sure who he called, but when he returned, he apologized that all of this wasn't resolved back in St. Louis and then explained that Bangladesh must have recently changed the requirements for a visa on arrival because my printed copy does not match what the website now shows.  The agent apologized and explained that they could not allow me to board the flight without a Bangladesh visa.

Because I shouldn't have been allowed to fly from St Louis to Chicago in the first place the airline flew me back to St. Louis at no charge and will work with me to get my tickets to Nepal rescheduled.

So, long story short, I was not able to travel to Bangladesh, and I'm back home trying to figure out what's next.

I'm not sure what happened between the time that I last checked the visa requirements and today but something changed. I just checked and even the U.S. State Department website still says that a visa on arrival is available for U.S. citizens.

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I'm disappointed, but trying to rejoice always as I practice being flexible, adaptable, as I roll with the punches...trusting in the Lord! Especially, I am disappointed for our brothers and sisters in Christ of the BLCM as they have put a lot of time and effort into making arrangements for this visit. 

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