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31 Nations

31 Nations is right. That's the number of places Angela's fellow immigrants came from. As the countries were called, people stood up to represent their native country with cheering for each one of them. Yes, on Friday, joined our American family after living here for 24 years. It all happened very quickly after what seemed like a very long wait.

She applied months and months ago.

  • Guess how much it cost? $650. 
  • Guess what you have to do? Study.
  • Out of the 100 questions an applicant is asked only 10.
  • You clearly have to know your stuff, unlike long time citizens.
  • Like who is your Congressman. Most folks barely know.
  • When was the Constitution ratified?
  • It is an oral test conducted by an interviewer.
  • It is given in English.
The interview was last Wednesday, the ceremony quickly following on Friday! Matt was traveling in Washington, DC, so Stephanie and I went in his stead, cheering when our dear friend finally received her certificate. I took loads of pictures to document her big day for Matt.
 The immigration center.
 The happy girl!
Singing and waving flags to Lee Greenwood's "I'm Proud to Be an American." 
 The woman pictured below was so full of enthusiasm. She's standing on the stage to meet up with Angela's height! I was so impressed because she posed with each and every person, sometimes multiple times for photographs.

Before the 10AM ceremony I was at Honda having a tire pressure light checked. More on that later.

I raced home, threw on a dress, and once through the security line, looked for the tallest woman in the room. The first thing I asked her when I found her was, "Where's your dress?" All around us were families, the men in suits, the woman in heels and their Sunday best. Angela has on capris and Stephanie is wearing shorts! I chided her for not taking the whole thing seriously. Admitting it later, she said that once surrounded by others, the gravity of the occasion sunk in. United Kingdom was alphabetically at the bottom, so it took a while once the actual certificates were handed out. Stephanie kept complaining about the two hours it was taking. I did my best to hide my irritation, however, I finally snapped saying, "this is a once in a lifetime event, we can wait." I was absolutely delighted to witness Angela's big day.

Quickly recapping what else has been happening:

  • Dinner out on Friday night with Jeff and Connie in College Park after Bruce's hair appointment with Monica. We ate at a small Italian restaurant on Edgewater. The food was good, with all of us saying what a nice place it was upon leaving. And it was at that point. Not so much for Bruce in the middle of the night when he awoke with severe stomach cramps. Up for hours, he was the victim of food poisoning, his first ever episode. And thank God for that! Maybe it was the clams on his pasta? The rest of us were fine.
  • Saturday's market was sweltering--same sales as the first week. At least there are sales, right?
  • Sunday's market was sweltering! Decent sales. Later Sunday evening, Bruce did my monthly sales and they were pretty darn good. I sold 100 items in August, for which I'm not complaining.
  • Monday I spent much time at Costco over the tire pressure problem. I believe I'll save that story of how I was a victim of a comedy of errors for tomorrow. Perhaps, it will all be resolved by then.
Bruce is working at home this week, no traveling at all. As such, I'm thinking right about now--should I or shouldn't I head to the Polasek today? Hmmm......breakfast first.
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