RYOTA YAMADA

Sunday, April 1, 2012

The Kennewick-Man Expedition, DAY 1


As the Boeing 777 touched down at Seattle-Tacoma international airport, U.S.A., an adrenaline started to run in my vessel; I had to pass the first big barrier, immigration. Although I had gotten a tourist visa for ten years from an embassy with difficulty, an immigration inspector had the actual authority to decide whether or not give permission and its period. If I fail it, my expedition plan with decision to resign from company and to abandon established income will disappear in the wink of an eye……

I was taken away to a separate room.

The inspectors are professionals in insight into the subtleties of words and gestures of human. Lies and exaggerations should not work with them. I openly explained the overall picture of the expedition plan in a halting way while picking up unsatisfactory knowledge of English scattered in my brain, presenting a document of the expedition plan, a deposit balance and a newspaper article about me. An inspector with sharp eye asked me questions one after the other; “How about the route?”, “Sponsor?”, “Income?”, “kayak?”

Although it took thirty minutes for an interview, I was granted a one-year residence permit. He became a smile and told me that, “Normally, it’s up to six months, but this time is special. And I’m sorry, it is impossible for more than one year”.