Thursday, July 30, 2009

July 25: Arriving in Guatemala

We’ve finally made it and are starting to settle in a little bit, though I think it will take another week or so before it feels natural.

Going to the airport was an adventure. My dad and I packed the minivan the night before with 6 bags to check and then we had 2 carry on bags, a diaper bag, my purse and laptop, Talia and her car seat. I was very thankful to not have to worry about the 6 bags I checked because there was plenty to worry about otherwise. Our first flight was from Tyler to Dallas in a puddle jumper and it was pretty uneventful.

The second flight was from Dallas to Miami since the people buying the tickets must have found a cheaper rate going through there. A guy who said his name was Juan Pablo, but who I renamed “Angel” helped me carry my suitcases and store them. This flight was around Talia’s nap time, so it was a bit stressful. I was grateful for the comic relief sitting in front of us in the form of a girl in her mid to late twenties planning to have fried chicken or pot roast at her wedding. And a big bucket of MnM’s, no juice but maybe some coke… And then she went on a long explanation of what the color mauve was. (I also was invited to the wedding since I couldn’t help but express my appreciation of the entertainment by laughing. Alas, I don’t think she has our address.) Angel also helped me unload the plane. Lord, please bless him!

Getting off in Miami, we had to immediately race across the entire airport (it felt like) to get to our next flight on time. To do this, I was pushing two suitcases while holding the three other bags and Talia in my arms. My mom was hauling her carry on and the car seat. (Apparently, in this airport one has to telephone for his/her own assistance via mechanical cart and it would have taken longer to wait than we had time for.) We arrived just as they were calling our seat numbers and filed in line with everyone else. Almost everyone boarding the plane here for Guatemala spoke Spanish. I was a little bit surprised at how most people, when seeing I had a baby, instead of looking pretty annoyed like the Americans tended to do, actually appeared to view Talia as a welcome amusement. On this flight I was able to sit next to a Senor Domingo Roderiguez, Talia and my Mom. This was a super huge airplane! Two seats on each aisle and four in the middle! Mr. Roderiguez worked at an window company in Miami and was going home to Huehuetenango to visit family for a few days. He was a very nice older gentleman and I appreciated his conversation.

We were so grateful to finally arrive in Guatemala City, Guatemala. There, we were immediately offered assistance in getting across the airport, which we wearily accepted. Waiting in the passport line, I got to translate for a gringo who was very upset with himself because he lost his passport. He was very grateful for the translation and I was glad to give something back since so many people had gone out of their way for me that day. We promptly got our luggage, were met by the super nice school facilitators and Chel (who had just finished another medical mission in Sarstun) and my husband; and were whisked away to the apartment where, still wired from a crazy day, I unpacked half of the suitcases and then crashed!

In summary, the trip was crazy stressful, the apartment is beautiful, the people we have come in contact with have gone out of their way to make sure we have everything we need and God has been gracious.

1 comment:

  1. I'm just now reading your past posts (but now you're in my feedreader, so I'll stay up-to-date!), and I find it interesting to read the progression of general helpfulness/friendliness of strangers as you made your way to Latin America. What an adventure!