First Day of School Crushed by Irma

Irma was just another hurdle impeding my future “American Dream”


My story started the 8th of June 2017, the day my parents asked for an investor visa in the US Embassy website. That was not easy because as you know, today everything is on computers. At that time, we were told it would be 3 weeks. The stumbling blocks began. The reality? Twelve weeks later the US Embassy gave us a five  year visa. Immediately we reserved a flight for September 4th; unfortunately, it was already after Miami Country Day School had begun.

On the 4th, Air France cancelled. We were able to reserve a flight for the 7th. Oh lala. One day before we were finally leaving,  Irma decided to visit and the last flight out of Charles de Gaulle was cancelled. Irma hit Florida so hard, there was no place for us until the 14th.

We arrived as expected. We were anxious. We had heard that the airport customs could change the duration of our visa. We were scared they would do that. Maybe we would only be allowed to stay for three years or less. Because yes, they can do that. We arrived at customs with all of our stuff: our 12 suitcases and 2 dogs. Thankfully we didn’t take my drone! My mother thought that my big white dog Guibson would arrive on the carousel but fortunately that wasn’t the case. He arrived in an elevator. And off we went.

Our Spanish-speaking taxi driver named Ana spoke a little bit of French, which was comforting. She drove the four of us, a dozen suitcases and our pets to our new house in Miami Beach, where there was no power,  no light, no air-conditioning. Welcome to Miami. My new home.

I was so excited and anxious to go to school, but it was closed. We had no idea for how long or when the power would come back or, most important in this new tropical land, when we would get our air conditioning back so we could finally sleep at night. There were too many things that we didn’t know, and too many things that we couldn’t do.

Sunday, a full week after Irma’s visit, we got the power on our street one day before school resumed. That was amazing but we had a big tree who was down in our pool and our deck was broken.

I thought there would be more damage in the school because Miami Shores was hit hard by Irma.

After everything, my first day of school was very difficult because I was alone, my English is bad and the school is very big.  But still  I appreciated it. After all, I can say “Thank you” to the Embassy because in delaying our visa, they helped us miss the brunt of Irma.