I want you all to know. Travel is not glamorous.
I share that because many people we have talked to about the Pockets of Change project have remarked at ‘what a grand adventure we will have ‘, and ‘aren’t we lucky to have this opportunity’ and so on.
I agree. Wholeheartedly.
But. The getting to the adventures? Oh my.
I write this in my notebook at 3 a.m. in the Miami International Airport. I’m laying on a bench that reminds me of a doctor’s office bench. I’m listening to a mix of really bad jazz and security notices about watching your luggage, announced in English and Spanish.
We’ve been trying to get to Peru for more than a full day now. We left our hotel in Port Au Prince at a prompt 8:45 a.m. around 9:15 a.m. because our hotel staff couldn’t quite agree on just how it is we’re supposed to get to the airport in the free airport shuttle.
Ok. So we do get to the airport. And hurray, no problem with the famed ‘Red Hatters’ – men who try very forcefully to “help” you with your luggage for a fee. No thanks guys, we’re missionaries and not really flowing with extra dough!
Customs, check-in, and all the rigmarole. No problem.
Wait for 2.5 hours for our flight to depart. No problem.
About to take off on the runway when dog and hazardous materials are found to be in the same cargo container.
Shuttle back to terminal, move old Fido away from the liquids, and by then we’ve burned through 2,000 lbs of fuel. Captain, in his southern drawl, shares with us that he “hopes” the fuel tank is on its way.
No problem. We’re off again, about an hour past initial take-off time. Back to the runway, picking up speed, just about to lift off when lady two rows up has a very serious asthma attack due to the very hot and smelly cabin we’ve all been sitting in together getting cozy. Good Lord, this is starting to be a problem.
Ok. Back to the terminal, where five paramedics clamber aboard and take the woman off, and Captain says once her luggage is found we’ll be off.
We rumbled down that ol’ runway just over two hours after our scheduled time, headed for Miami.
Leg one done, and we’re feeling positive about it all.
We decide to hang it out at the airport for four or five hours before check-in. We pick up a few needed items, grab a bite to eat and wander for infinity a couple hours, then casually check the departures board again to confirm our gate. Bright yellow letters inform us that instead of leaving at 12:05 a.m., we are leaving at 5 a.m.
It’s a long walk down that corridor and back to the main terminal.
The good news is in Miami the airline company gives you a hotel stay for free. So we got to spend about three hours at a hotel complete with a voucher for the hotel restaurant. Since it was about midnight when we got to the hotel we ate two delicious pieces of pie (key lime and cheesecake) with two tall glasses of chocolate milk.
While the airline told us to get on the airport shuttle at 2:30, security wasn’t open until 3:30 a.m. And thus it is that I wrote this post, laying on a hard red bench in the Maimi International Airport, listening to really bad jazz.
I’m loving the project, and feel overwhelmingly grateful. And we’re excited to get to share our experiences with people through this blog. So, to come along on the ride, I wanted to share with you some of the bumps we face along the way so you’re truly a part of this.
This blog post was written in my notebook at the Miami airport. We’ve since landed and left our destination in Peru, and will hopefully post more soon. We had limited internet access this last week, and expect to have better access at our next stop. So check back soon!