A bit of progress

19 Sep

Today was a productive day. Pastor Efraín graciously offered to take me around town to an accountant who could incorporate a company in Peru, which is the first step toward obtaining a work visa. The accountant was not sure, however, whether she could do this with only a passport, so we waited for an appointment at the SUNAT offices (the IRS of Peru) to ask. The SUNAT lawyer said NO, I would need a residency card first. This was very bad news, but I suspected it to be incorrect because a high-priced attorney in Lima and another on a Web site both offered to create a company which would then hire me in order to obtain my work visa. My interpreter said, “Well, this is sort of how it works in Peru. If you don’t think the answer is right, you try someone else.” The SUNAT lawyer himself said the same thing! I suggested that I could form the company once I obtained my “permission to sign contracts,” but the SUNAT man said no and no one else had even heard of this (which makes sense, because natural Peruvians don’t need it).

Next we went to immigration and waited 20-30 minutes to talk with an officer directly (which is pretty impressive, actually). He went through all the options I had read about on the DIGEMIN Web site then said, “Well, you could obtain your permission to sign contracts, which will allow you to form the company, and then hire yourself to obtain the work visa.” I smiled. At this stage, it’s really nice to hear it from the horse’s mouth 🙂 So after lunch I went to Banco de la Nación to pay my 16 soles ($6) each for Vicki and I. Tomorrow morning I take the receipts back to the immigration office with Form F-004 to get the actual permission stamps. Then back to the accountant to start the process of incorporation. I’m starting to wonder what percentage of Peruvian taxi revenue is due to transporting people to and from government offices….

Also today the nice people at Claro got Vicki’s phone working (it would text, but not call) after a 30-40 min wait and more time spent diagnosing, etc. But it works now, which gives us both a little more peace of mind when we’re running our separate ways.

Then off to Pacifico Seguros to make the payment for our new health insurance policy. It went very smoothly thanks to an English-speaking agent today, with whom I will consult about many more types of insurance, I expect. Like stolen camera insurance 😉

Speaking of which, Pastor Efraín was formerly a cop. He was skeptical of the value of filing a police report, but took me to the black market of Arequipa to look for my camera. We did not find it, but what an enlightening experience! Twenty to thirty vendors lining the aisles, each with a glass display case containing 50 smartphones of all shapes and sizes and 5-10 digital cameras, none with boxes or chargers, of course. If you find your device and file a police report, you can take a cop with you and get it back! Two different missionaries did this, one with a laptop, the other a DSLR camera. But the camera repair shop guy said the thieves are getting smarter and probably sent mine to another city. By the way, if you need a cell phone from the States unlocked because your carrier is playing nasty, you can evidently get it done here for about $5. Also people here work on things that we just replace in the States: cameras, phones, etc. Labor is much cheaper and electronics are much more expensive (+40%. If you live in the US and have Amazon Prime, consider yourself spoiled).

On the bright side, besides labor, fresh produce is a lot cheaper here. You have to soak it in disinfectant before eating anything uncooked, but… we could get used to fresh mangoes and kiwi. Seems like fruits and vegetables are about half what we paid in the States. Meat and milk are a little less. Cheese is outrageous! A 4 oz block may cost $5-$8! Since our grocery budget is higher than our electronics budget, it works out to a net savings, I think.

If you’ve made it this far, congratulations 🙂 We greatly appreciate your prayers as we acclimate to this new world. There have been moments of great discouragement, and there are things we’re not telling you or showing you because we don’t want to complain and we do want you to come visit….

4 Responses to “A bit of progress”

  1. michael CHANDLER September 19, 2013 at 11:18 pm #

    I’m pleased to know that you did not have to slip a few soles into the hands of officials to achieve your goals. It is good that Peru doesn’t work that way. That govt agencies don’t agree, sounds like my country! Glad your cell phones work in talk mode. Believe it or not, that is how they actually got started. Cheese is not heart healthy. Fruits and veggies are. You might start living a healthier diet. We are pleased you are learning the ropes. You haven’t called it paradise yet but it is becoming home.

    Love, Dad


  2. Dan Cilli September 20, 2013 at 7:23 am #

    Hi to all. Your comments over the past 2 weeks have brought back so many memories from our 4 journeys to Peru: reminding us of some of our more comical events, some delightful experiences and a few new fears. Your daily log is so beneficial for those who will read it. The day-to-day ventures of the missionay getting set up in a new location brings us right into your world. We truly feel that we are “with you”, and therefore we pray more regularly “for you”.

    Cheri gave your daughter a hug on Sunday. We pray for you almost every evening. dan and cheri.

  3. kcauble September 23, 2013 at 6:39 am #

    No wonder it was difficult to understand precisely what was required per the DIGEMIN website. I feel somewhat justified in my confusion and all those attempts at clarifying the requirements 🙂 Also makes sense why we kept hearing, ‘once you get down there’, ‘you’ve gotta do this when you’re down there’, etc. So glad it’s working out!

  4. Juan December 19, 2013 at 1:26 pm #

    I am sorry you had to go trough this to get your company incorporated, there is a fast electronic way to do it (72 hours) in the peruvian government portal ( http://www.peru.gob.pe ) , its named in spanish like as “incorporate on-line” ( http://www.notariadigital.org.pe/ol-it-portal/solicitud.do ).

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