Thursday, September 17, 2009

Bureaucracy

The day we left Manta, I received in my mail a threatening letter from
my pension fund demanding a "certificat de vie" (official proof that I
am alive) within 60 days of the letter otherwise they would suspend
payment. The letter was dated April 23 2009 and had been mailed July
8th, 2009. I got the letter the Saturday we were leaving from Manta, and
to get such a document in Ecuador, I would have had to travel to Quito
and get it from the french consulate.
So, we left and I contacted by emails friends and family in France,
asking them to call the pension fund and find out when exactly was the
deadline for them to receive the document. One of the pension fund
employee said September 1st, another said October 1st. Result, stress . . .
As soon as we got to Hiva Oa (we were not supposed to be in Fatu Hiva
before making an official entry), I went to the Gendarmerie (National
Police) and asked for it. They said the "probably" could not do it. I
would have to come back in the afternoon and check again, but they
believed that to produce such a document, they would have to make a
report that they did so. They also told me that it was very unlikely
that the Mayor's office would do it. So, I went to the Mayor's office,
and they did it without asking a question. I mailed it registered and
then almost everyday, I had someone in France ask to see if they got it.
By the time I arrived in Tahiti, they still did not have it. So I went
to the Mayor's office of Punaauia where the marina is located. They said
they could not make such a document, or rather the mayor could not sign
such a document since I was not a resident of Punaauia.
So what they did was to get a telephoned statement from the marina that
I was a resident at the marina, then they made me a resident of Punaauia
with address in the marina, after which they could sign the "certificat
de vie". I mailed it registered, but the next day I learned that the one
mailed from Hiva Oa had arrived. Happy ending . . .

Tomorrow morning, I am making my third trip to the port authority of
Papeete to complete my entry. I have cleared last week, but they forgot
to provide me with a certificate which will enable me to purchase fuel
duty free at the marina. I only need about 30 gallons, but it is worth a
visit to Papeete.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Are you sure? When is the last time you checked to be sure you are alive? You can't just take a government official's word for it. You are getting to be an old fart by now you know, almost as old as me.
ORZA!
Gary

gary and beryl said...

I note you plan on departing Noumea 15 November. We are having our next meeting 28th Nov at Whangaparoa about half an hour this side of Auckland. We would like you to come and can offer transport.BUT you will have to have a fast trip! Maybe if you leave a few days earlier you would have some time up your sleeve?