Guatemala Recap: Day 1-Travel to Guate'

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The day was incredibly normal considering 23 of us were headed on an international trip for 2 weeks. There were a few who were meeting the team for the first time as a whole. However, most of the team was familiar with one another and everyone was excited to get on the road. There were a larger number of first timers on the trip and a couple who had never flown before. We had to make sure that this was a memorable flight for them. ;-)

Check in at Raleigh/Durham was very fast and efficient thanks to technology and American Airlines tremendous staff who were very helpful to us. The tremendous line in front and behind us evaporated and we were on through security and to the gate. The flight was great though we were separated throughout the cabin. The pilot even gave us a little recognition along with the planned love for the airplane rookies...check it out.

Miami was fun even with a long layover. Between Phase 10, some game with pigs, and Kristina, Dale, and Kris trying to best each other throwing a paper ball into the trash, time seemed to move fairly quickly. Our flight was delayed an hour on the way down which was kind of a downer but everyone still looked forward to what was to come.

We had a much larger plane from Miami to Guatemala which was nice. We were still spread all over the place but within sight distance of each other. The journey over the gulf was fairly eventless and actually pretty boring which is all you can ask. They showed the "Spiderwyck Chronicles" which was interesting but definitely not for Mia(4) and Carter(2) who drew away in their travel books.

Upon landing in Guatemala, it was evident that it had been raining for sometime (it was rainy season you know). We didn't think too much about it as we left the plane and headed for immigration. Again everything was virtually painless as we proceeded to get our stamps and our bags. We were in and out in virtually no time. La Aurora Airport has made impressive strides in becoming a modern airport.

We boarded the bus and headed for the office in San Cristobal which is near Mixco just outside the city to the west. There we had a great meal of chicken and rice. A welcome addition to the stomach after a day in airports and airplanes. We only stayed for a bit as we had quite a drive ahead of us to the camp. It was well after 9pm local time and 11pm according to our body clocks. The temperature bordered on cold as we began the descent from Guatemala City which sits a mile high in elevation. Several drifted off to sleep as we progressed toward the Pacific plains past Escuintla. The weather went from cold and drizzly to muggy, hot, and a downpour. Every crack of the bus that opened to the outside leaked water through it.

We arrived at the camp in the middle of the night...far to late to recount much except that the luggage had to come off of the bus in the middle of the rain. The missionaries pulled the Toyota flatbed in the soft mud next to the bus and the boys began unloading and stacking luggage onto the truck. From there we moved the stuff to the auditorium down the cobblestone road. It was wet, hot, uncomfortable, and very heavy at times. When it was was time for bed.

Day 1 of travel complete and it was a blast! We didn't all wear the typical T-shirts down, we wore uniform shirts from Army-Navy. Some of us wore the "typical shirt" underneath. Everyone got a kick out of it but it also set the tone for what we came to do. Work...

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