|We handed off the camera to a kind gentleman to take this blurry photo in the square when we were invited to a party in Boveglio.|
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As of yet, the prospects for the future aren’t looking good for us leaving India anytime soon. With India now in the #3 spot in the world with South Africa, having moved into the #5 spot, with the most cases of COVID-19 our hopes to travel from Mumbai to Marloth Park are rapidly declining.
|The interior of the “theatre” in the square, our mouths were agape as we viewed each photo with our new friends encouraging us along, telling stories mostly in Italian, so proud to share their history with us. It was a night we’ll always remember.|
Once the international flights open in Mumbai, based on our visa and current restrictions, we’ll have 30 days to fly out of India. I wrote to the immigration department asking for more details impacting us if, in fact, no country will accept us, what will we be able to do based on India’s visa requirements.
Will we be able to get a visa extension beyond the 30-day mandate from the time international flights resume? Hopefully, we’ll receive a response soon. Their offices are closed, but they are accepting email inquiries.
|Many of us have old photos such as these of our relatives, deceased and living, bringing us a warm sense of our roots and family history.|
Our visa stamp indicates we’re allowed to stay until November 19, 2020, but in tiny print below, it states no foreigners may stay longer than 180 days in a single stay. By July 28, we’ll have been in India for 180 days.
In the interim, we’ll continue to follow online updates on their visa website. This is a bit unclear and confusing at this point and we’re hoping for further clarification by email.
|None of the photos were dated but the clothing may indicate early 1900’s.|
As for South Africa, we doubt they’ll allow US citizens to enter the country well into 2021. Subsequently, we have to put our hopes to return to Marloth Park on hold for an extended period.
Now, as we continue to stay updated on flight and borders opening up, we may have to consider some options that are not as desirable as we’d like. Also, will we stay in another hotel somewhere or rent a holiday home? Will shopping in local markets be safe in more crowded populations in many countries.
|This wedding procession, based on the clothing, appears it could have been in the 1950s on a now-paved road in the neighborhood.|
Obviously, Europe is out of the question when US citizens aren’t allowed to enter. Some Caribbean islands with low numbers of the virus are accepting US citizens which we may consider when flights open up out of India. A few countries in Africa will accept us at this point.
Still, the uncertainty remains, which above all, is the most difficult aspect of this unusual situation. As planners, not knowing what is next is frustrating and can easily monopolize our thoughts.
|This is the then unpaved road closest to the street, near the church, that leads to Bar Ferrari. We walked up this road while in Boveglio.|
In the worst-case, we can always return to the US for a period of time, but our realities still cloud this possibility: 1. Too many cases of the virus and the necessities of stops at many airports required to get anywhere we may be willing to wait it out and, 2. Our insurance only pays outside the USA, not while we’re visiting the US, a risky scenario in light of the risk of COVID-19 and the added exposure in the US.
If we convert to Medicare, we’re stuck paying at least INR 89912, US $1200 a month for life for both of us for Medicare Part B and necessary supplements, which is irreversible once instituted.
|Other than the walking path for residents and animals, there was no road to our 300-year-old vacation home in this photo.|
If we continue in our world travels, this Medicare will do us little good outside the US). Right now, we’re paying about INR 31844, US $425 a month (for both of us) with excellent coverage and low co-pays, anywhere in the world, except the US.
What a dilemma! In the interim, we strive to remain optimistic and hopeful, as we stick to our comforting routines to maintain our health and our sanity.
Stay healthy. Stay safe.
Photo from one year ago today, July 20, 2019:
|Note the different sizes of her horns as seen in Connemara, Ireland. For more photos, please click here.|