So my family missed their flight yesterday. Hopefully they will get on a flight this morning and we will only have missed one night, but I'm still a little concerned that the Houston airport was so disorganized yesterday that they won't be able to make it work today either.
Here was my day...
I needed to go to the airport anyways to pick up a college team we have here this week doing construction around the clinic and school. I caught a ride up to Los Encuentros to meet the bus that was picking up the team. They were suppose to be there at 7:00, but didn't show up to pick me up until 7:45. Then about 20 minutes down the road I got dropped off at a gas station and picked up by another bus that then took me to the airport. When I got to the airport the bus dropped me off to wait at the door for the team. Emily had caught a ride with the bus because her flight back to the States was that day, so we grabbed some lunch at the airport and waited for the team to get in. I really hope she decides to come back to Guatemala. Even just knowing her for a week I can tell we would be really good friends if she lived here.
So this is when my day got complicated. After lunch we started waiting at the door for the team. When I pick up teams I have a Salud y Paz sign that I hold up, so when the team comes out they know where to go. I was waiting with the sign when my phone rang. It was a Houston number that I didn't have in my phone. When I answered I heard my dad's voice and knew what was wrong. He was calling me from a pay phone because they had left their phones at home. I heard him say that they missed their flight then the phone cut off. I tried calling it back, but couldn't get a hold of him. At this time I got a call from one of our translators that the bus hadn't gotten to Guatemala City (because yet another bus was coming to drive the team to Chichi). I was trying to figure out what to do about the bus when my dad finally called me back. I talked to him for a couple of minutes then he handed the phone to my mom. When I heard her voice I completely lost it. I started crying and quickly told her that I couldn't talk anymore because I couldn't be crying when the team came out of the airport. Can you imagine getting picked up in a foreign country where you've never been by a girl who was a mess? Not very comforting.
After I hung up the phone I then had to figure out what I was going to do for the night. I couldn't decide if I should just stay at a hostel for the night or catch a ride back towards Pana. I called and made arrangements to get my family picked up from the airport for their next flight and decided I could just jump on the bus with the team then catch a couple of more buses back to Pana then just ride with the driver who is coming to pick them up today. After I got that figured out I then remembered that my friend Archy's brother in law was going to pick us up and take us to Pana. I tried calling Archy to cancel the ride, but he couldn't talk because he was driving so then I called Jose (one of the translators) for help and he was actually with the driver who was suppose to pick up the team and they were cousins, so he called and canceled the ride to Pana. At the same time some dude saw me holding the Salud y Paz sign and wanted to know everything about the organization and another guy over heard me talking about Houston flights being missed which is where his team was coming from, so I was trying to help him out seeing if his team was delayed or coming.
The team finally showed up and after I met them and stalled for a little bit because our bus wasn't there yet we finally got on the bus and headed towards Pana. My plan was to jump off at Los Encuentros and take 2 public Chicken Buses back to Pana. However, the driver (who didn't speak any English, so be impressed I had this conversation with him all in Spanish) saw another bus on the road who he knew the driver that was going to Pana. He dropped me off and I got on that bus and headed to Pana. It was a team who had just flown in and was a medical team working in villages around the lake. Most of them had gone into the gas station to use the restroom when I got onto the bus and the looks I got when they got back on the bus and just saw a stranger sitting there were priceless. I played tour guide and answered all their questions about the lake and about Salud y Paz. When they found out where I worked and that we hosted rural medical teams they wanted my information to try to set up a team next year. Hopefully that contact will work out.
Anyways, it was a really long and stressful day and I am praying there are no problems with their flight today. I have to get going back to Guatemala City (it's a fun 6 hour round trip I'm not looking forward to making 2 days in a row) to pick them up. Expect an even more depressing blog post later if they miss their flight again.