Monday, June 28th. This is the last blog before I write to you from Honduras! In just a few minutes we will be on our way to Memphis to spend the night at one of Margaret's sister's house and to get some rest before our flight. Tomorrow 12 advance team members will leave (4 from Memphis and 8 from Nashville) and begin the trip. The second wave lands on Wednesday with Nate and Karen, along with 13 others. 120 arrive on Thursday and 8 arrive on Saturday. We will pretty much be running an airport shuttle to and from the airport while we are there!
Let's go over departure procedures one more time... just want to make sure everyone is on the same page before you leave:
* Print your flight information. Take it with you to the airport.
* Check in on line. If you have an electronic ticket you can probably check in on line. Margaret and I did on Continental and it took about 10 minutes. Now all we have to do is show up, present our passports, and we are good to go.
* Make sure to wear your Torch t-shirt for the flight. It will be much easier to keep up with everyone that way and besides, we have cool t-shirts to wear!
* Arrive at least 2 hours before your departure time. Flights are sold out and it will take a while to check in (even if you checked in on line).
* Make sure your bags are color coded.
* Make sure each bag has a name tag.
* MAKE SURE YOU KEEP UP WITH YOUR BAGGAGE CLAIM NUMBER! When you arrive in Honduras you MUST have the luggage claim number,security will not allow you to leave the baggage area unless they match the luggage claim number you have with the one on the bag.
On the flight that will be arriving in Honduras, the flight crew will pass out 2 different forms that you will have to fill out before you land. The form I posted on this blog is not the actual form but it is similar. Here is information you will need to know so that you fill out the form properly (you might want to print this article or at least copy this part down):
* Have a pen with you, you will need one to fill out the form!
* The forms are in Spanish and English. Take your time filling them out. Write your name as it appears on your passport.
* Keep your passport handy and easy to get to, you will need it to fill out the form
* When you write down your birth date, make sure to write the DAY, then the month, then the year. (it is different than the way we usually do it)
* Destination: Tegucigalpa, Honduras
* Address you will be staying: Villa Gracias, El Hatillo, KM 8
* You are traveling as a TOURIST (don't mark anything else!)
* Your flight number will be on your boarding pass (American will be Flight #954; Continental #756; Delta is #551)
* If it asks for your occupation, give general description (student, minister, counselor, teacher, business woman, etc)
When you go through customs, have the 2 forms you filled out inside your passport. Speak to the customs officers in English, they probably speak English and if not, it will speed your way through since they will know you do not speak Spanish... (unless you speak Spanish of course). Once through the customs lines, you will enter the baggage area. We will gather all of the luggage in one area. Help if you can but don't worry too much about identifying your bag at first. We will be grabbing orange handled bags and stacking them off to the side. Once we have all of the bags find yours and go to the X-Ray machine. Once your bags have cleared you will go to another check point and the security guards will check your baggage claim numbers. Once you have cleared this area you will pass though a large classed wall into the main terminal.
The advance team will be waiting outside the classed wall wearing grey Torch shirts. They will help you with your luggage and show you where your bus is parked. Once your bag is loaded onto the truck or bus, go straight to the bus and wait there. We will have someone there to collect your $20 and giving you a packet of Limperias for your lunch and shopping. Once the roll call is checked and we know everyone is there that is riding that particular bus you will leave and go eat lunch at an American fast food restaurant and then go the the grocery store. Once everyone has bought their snacks and lunch foods the bus will head up the mountain to the Mission House. Once you arrive you will go the main chapel for rules and orientation.
Sounds easy, right? It will be if you follow the instructions. otherwise, it will be complete and utter chaos! If we are voting, I vote for neat and organized. Good luck, we look forward to seeing you in Honduras in just a couple of days! If in doubt, find a seasoned veteran flying on the same flight as you and ask away. It will help you feel more secure on the flight and it will make them feel important. It is a win / win for everyone. Take care and get ready, it is about to begin! Torch Missions 2010, reporting for duty!