Life in the US after 3 years in Guatemala. Trying to raise our 3 girls with purpose.
Sunday, April 21, 2013
Our travel day
We made it safe and sound last night. The girls did really great through the whole thing. Here's my brief recap of yesterday's events:
Baggage: After haggling at the check-in counter, I was able to only have to pay for 3 of our 8 bags. Yes, 8 bags. Then we pushed our pile of "carry-ons" (I put that in quotes because they were all clearly larger than carry-ons) to the gate and they offered to check the carry-ons all the way through for free.
Flights: We got to the airport a little late, but everything went so smoothly that we had time to grab lunch for the plane and hang out a bit. The girls did good on the flight from PDX to Houston. Hazel got very tired and screamed for a while. She finally fell asleep about an hour before we landed. Ellie loved the airplane and loved watching Cirque du Soleil on the tv.
The connection was very tight in Houston. I grabbed dinner while Mel ran the girls to the bathroom and then we boarded. We had to sit there for a little while on the runway.
The second flight was fine. The girls did great but we were all pretty tired. The flight was about half full, but because they have the "Economy Plus" section now, everyone was still cramped together in the back of the plane. Silly capitalism.
Arrival: We landed about 9:00pm Guate time. We collected our bags (on three carts) and slowly pushed all three carts plus the stroller through customs. In my stubbornness I refused to pay any of the porters to help us. So it was slow going. Everything was fine and we made it through quickly.
We met Antony (the current Guatemala Rep for MCC) and loaded up his pickup. Ellie rode on Mel's lap and Hazel was conked out in her car seat. A short drive later we arrived at the gate (which was guarded by a guy with and AK-47.... a warm welcome indeed) of the Mennonite Seminary where we are staying today (and where we will eventually be doing language study). Except for cleaning up the shampoo that spilled in one of our bags, we basically jimmy rigged beds for the girls (E on a mattress on the floor, H in wardrobe/dresser with our bags blocking the door). Then we crashed.
We were greeted with a warm welcome this morning at breakfast by our bosses Mark and Gloria, and by all of the other Reps in Latin America. I know a few of them, so it was great to see familiar faces on our first day.
We decided to skip church to relax a bit, and later we'll move our bags to our apartment before heading to Antigua for a retreat this week. We're so glad to be here and thankful for our smooth and uneventful travels.