#FeatureFebruary || Interview Day by Ote Igwemoh
The day before was the 8th of March, 2017. That night I couldn’t sleep, I kept on tossing, turning and wondering what the next day was going to be like, what the end result was going to be, the questions they might ask me, all these thoughts ran through my head while I tried to toss the roaches sneaking up on my sisters and mum while they slept. Finally, I got to sleep, but it was one filled with dreams about tomorrow.
My mum woke me up by 3:30 am, as the first child, of course. Our appointment was set for 6:45 am, so we couldn’t afford to be late because the embassy would be filled with both immigrants and non-immigrants waiting for it to open. I got up from the bed, had my bath, did my makeup and waited for my siblings to get ready. The driver arranged by my mum’s friend came to pick us up by 4:30 am. On our way to the embassy, I couldn’t help but be in awe of the beautiful parts of Lagos, how the street lights reflected on the little river by those huge houses and the little boats. I thought to myself, “If I was to stay in Lagos, I had to live here”.
Finally, we got to the embassy, it looked big on the outside, but there wasn’t much to it when I got in. While waiting for the embassy to open, we were assisted by some boys who had no connection to the embassy but seemed to know what kind of documents we needed and how our passports should look like. After we got the right passports, we still had to wait a bit. Not so long after, a man came and called for those who had morning appointments and told us to move to a particular section. On entering the building, we weren’t allowed to carry certain items such as ATM cards, liquids, cell phones, bank tokens and sharp objects. After that, we were taken to another section where we were checked to ensure we had none of those items on us, the penalty for not complying was to go to the end of the line, which was really long at that time. Afterwards, we were given some forms to fill and were taken to the main building.
Note that through all these, we were on our feet. Tragic! Lol. When we got in, we saw two signs hanging on the ceiling, one for immigrants and one for non-immigrants, we queued on the line for the sign that read ‘Immigrants’. A tall and fair pretty lady was in front of the line helping people ensure that they had all documents required such as medical records, passports, birth certificates, etc. When it got to our turn, she checked our documents and ensured we had everything, we then had to wait for the officers who would put all our documents in files for each individual and submit it to the interviewer, and it was a long wait. Finally, the officer was done and guess what? I got to sit 😁. Now it was time to wait for our number to be called, we were “19”. While waiting, my eyes drifted to a woman who was just denied her visa, my heart began to beat at a rate I’ve never experienced, I was scared of what the next 2 hours were going to look like.
“Number 19,” the interviewer called out. We all stood up and headed for the cubicle where the interviewer was, our interviewer was a bald white man probably in his late 30’s. I was glad it was a man, cause I heard women were more strict. He was nice to us, he asked who the eldest and youngest was and told us that if we were asked questions, we shouldn’t whisper the answers to each other, but just answer yes, no or I don’t know. He asked us questions from the youngest to the oldest and then asked my mum a few questions, I would say we answered pretty well. At the end of it all, he gave us a white paper reading, “Congratulations, you’ve been accepted into the United States!” It was surreal! I still couldn’t believe that this was happening, at the same time I was weak and hungry, I’d been standing for so long and I just wanted to eat and sleep. To celebrate, we had chicken and chips from KFC. I was just glad it was all over and very successful.
I am ever so thankful and grateful to God for this opportunity and if there’s anyone who is moving to a new country, especially the United states and needs someone to talk to, I’ll be glad to help by giving moral support, cause I know I needed it .
PS: If you would love to talk to Ote, you can reach her on Instagram. She would totally love to hear from you.
Have you travelled out of your country before? How was your experience? Please share ♥️