The advance team has hit the ground running here in the beautiful, lush country of Honduras. 9 of us are in the country and are safe and sound in Tegucigalpa. The flight into San Pedro Sula was delayed out of Miami due to weather so we didn't have very much down time before connecting on the ever popular, E-ticket wonder ride known as the Atlantic Airlines 19 passenger prop plane. Having flown on this type of plane before I was pumped to know we were about to have a wild ride. You sort of have to look at it as a theme park roller coaster to enjoy the flight. If you don't, it will scare you to death.
Which leads me to Lester and Alex. 1st timers on the puddle jumper, I made sure I was sitting near them to watch and see the show. And I was not let down. After we climbed aboard the plane, we ducked down and walked sideways to get to our seats. We held our carry ons in our laps (sort of like a built in already inflated air bag)and buckled ourselves in. Then they loaded the massive amount of luggage in the back of the plane and just stacked it up into a pile. At this point the back of the plane weighed a lot more than the front. The pilot and co pilot (which I am pretty sure was the guy who issued our tickets at the counter)entered, walked through the center isle and climed into their seats. Which we could see, by the way, since it was only partly covered by a partician screen.
They started the engine on the right wing, which sputtered liquid (I say water, Tyler Steffy says fuel.... does it really matter at this point?)and noisely warmed up. The left engine just sat there minding its own business. We figured we were just going to fly around in a circle or something.... The pilot waved goodbye and rolled up the window (no, really he did)Finally the second engine was started and it sounded like we were inside a bee hive. We took off, rather slowly, gaining enough speed to make make the leap into the wild blue yonder. Well, not blue, more of a sinister gray / black. We were heading right into a storm. Oh yeah, this was going to be good.
We were about 500 feet off of the ground when we started hitting turbulance. Not bad, but enough to make you want to put your arms up into the air like you were riding The Great American Scream Machine in Atlanta. I remember Alex saying twice that we were going to die; Leslie looked like she did, and the dog (yes, the dog) in the back of the plane was not too happy. During one of the more impressive drops, the baby up front tossed her cookies. She followed that performance about 30 seconds later by dropping a load in her diaper. Where were the oxygen masks that are supposed to drop from the ceiling? Oh, that's right, there were not any...... bummer, we could have really used them. Just before passing out we landed. I think it was a really good landing but I don't know for sure because my eyes were closed from the burning sensation and I had my extra t-shirt from my carry on covering my mouth.
Mark and Lori, and Marc and Terri were there to welcome us. And so was Brett and Judy, our ever so lucky Canadians. They were at the airport looking to see if their luggage had come in from the TACA flight on Tueday. This was lucky number 9. Out of 14 trips. Judy should really not play the lottery..... And, of course, no luck. No luggage today either. But today is lucky Friday and they might just get their clothes today.
Dinner was at Camparos and then we arrived at the Mission House around 9:00. We got our luggage, felt sorry for Brett and Judy, and went to our rooms. Sleep didn't come fast enough and this will be the only night we will not have to worry about people staying up too late or making noise. It was nice and cool and we all got a badly needed night of sleep.
Today we were up and rolling at 6:30. Pancakes and watermelon for breakfast. We loaded up tools and went to the lumber yard to pick up wood for the new addition to the playground at Good Shepherd. A small group from San Diego, California, are here wrapping up their trip with Janet Hines and they tagged along to help (and to play with the kids..... I know their real motives). The group stopped in Zanmarano to eat lunch at the agricultural college. We dug 24 inch deep holes and placed the 18' tall 4x4 posts in place and mixed concrete (by hand of course) and anchored them in. We will return next week to build the platforms and put the finishing touches in place.
We have food being delivered tomorrow to pack and we are going to the open air market to shop for fresh fruits and vegetables for a food distribution. Taft's group arrives this evening and will travel by coach and should arrive sometime after midnight. Lots of fun here in Hondoland. Stay tuned for more, its only just begun (I heard that song playing at the gas station today..... inspiration comes in many different ways!)