This week you will receive by mail. or group leader, your Torch t-shirt and journal. Also, if you ordered a Torch water bottle you will receive that as well. You should also receive plastic tape that we will be using as identification bands for our luggage. Every piece of checked luggage should have an orange band of plastic tape which will identify the bag as a Torch missions bag. When we arrive in Tegucigalpa it will help find our baggage quickly among all of the other luggage that arrived with other passengers. It is VERY IMPORTANT that every bag have orange tape on the handle. Also, you will have another band of tape on your suitcase handle. If you fly American you will also have a RED band, YELLOW for Continental, and blue for Delta. This will help us sort the bags once we get to the Mission House. If you did not receive tape in your package don't worry, there will be people at the airport the day you depart to help you out. Just make sure your bags are color coded before you check the bags in. If you have any questions about checked luggage, weight limits, extra charges, etc, refer back to the March 1st article.
Just a kindly reminder that everyone going on the trip needs to go shopping for some things that we need for the trip. 1 box of gallon size zip lock storage bags; 1 box quart size zip lock storage bags; 1 bottle of baby shampoo; 1 bottle of de-tangler / cream rise; 8-12 bars of soap; 2 hard plastic soup bowls; 3 metal forks and 3 metal spoons. By farming this out to 150 people we can collect the needed supplies, spread out the wright of the items into 150 separate bags, and save save enough money from the work fund to do an extra food distribution or build an extra house. The June 14th blog has the recommended packing list in case you missed it.
I found a very good article the other day called "The 10 Commandments of Flying." I think all of us need to read it over, it has some great tips and advise. I could not have said it better myself!
1. Look like a pro at the security check-point: For goodness sakes, be ready for the X-Ray scanner before you get there! Have keys, loose change, cell phone, etc. stored in your backpack BEFORE you get to the table where the bins are located. Have your shoes off and your belt off.... they will make you take them off so go ahead and do it before you reach the table! Keep your passport and boarding pass in hand as you go through the scanner. Once your bag passes through the X-Ray machine, grab your bag, shoes, belt, and move away from the rollers and redress. The faster you go through the faster the rest of us get through.
2. Hurry up and wait? When the announcement is made that the plane is about to board, don't jump up and rush to the line to get on the plane. There is no prize for getting on the plane first. You will still be sitting in the same assigned seat whether you are the first or last to board the plane. Wait till your group is called, it makes boarding much smoother and less stressful. Besides, you look pretty stupid standing in the line when you could still be seating in the lounge chair finishing up your Dr. Pepper.
3. Learn to count! You are allowed ONE carry on baggage and ONE personal item, usually a purse, briefcase, etc. This does not mean 1 carry on, 1 personal item, 1 hoodie, 1 pillow, 1 shopping bag, 1 water bottle, 1 blanket, a sandwich and Diet Coke. Be courteous, especially if you are wearing one of those nifty mission t-shirts... people tend to notice you.
4. It is what it is! A "carry on" is just that... a bag that can be carried onto the plane. It should not be so big that you smash the passengers seated on the isle seat as you struggle down the isle to get to your seat. It also should not be so heavy that you have to enlist the help of body builders nearby to get the bag into the overhead compartment. If it is too heavy for YOU to lift, it is too heavy. Also, if your carry on bag has to be slammed, jammed, and shoved into the overhead bin, it is too big. Don't be "that person" that breaks these rules. People notice.
5. De-leverage. When you have to get up from your seat during the flight, don't grab the seat in front of you to pull yourself up. No one wants to suddenly get pulled backwards in their seat so use your hand rests to stand up! Yes, you can do it.
6. Look back Jack! If you get the urge to recline your seat, look back! No one likes to get a laptop shoved into their chest or a hot cup of coffee dumped into their lap because you reclined your seat into their personal space without any notice. Unexpected courtesy is always appreciated. Besides, it is only 3 or 4 inches for you... so take a peak before going back.
7. Not so loud. If you are traveling in a group, please remember you are not the only ones on the plane. People enjoy their space and they enjoy their peace and quiet. Keep your stories, jokes, and talking down so that everyone will enjoy the flight, and not be aggravated at you.
8. Be polite. Chances are there will be people sitting all around you. Stay seated as much as possible. Please ask to be excused if you have to ask someone to move for you to get out into the isle. Say please and thank you to the stewards or stewardesses when the serve you. It is the least you can do. Leave your grumpy pants at home... they are unbecoming on you.
9. Clean up after yourself! Flight attendants constantly walk by collecting trash during the flight. Throw your stuff away! Nobody wants to see trash stuffed into the pocket of the seat in front of you.
10. Get ready... get set.... wait. Just like there is no prize for being the first on the plane, there is not a prize for the first person to stand up once the plane is parked. The etiquette is quite simple: exit by rows. If you are on row 23, take a chill pill and wait your turn. If you want to be one of the first to get off a plane, cough up the extra money ahead of time and buy a first class ticket so that you can sit in the first 3 rows. After all, you still have to wait, and wait some more, for your luggage at the luggage carousel!
By doing these 10 things, you will not only fly like a pro you will not be remembered as the one that..... well, you fill in the blank. If you are going to make an impression, make a good one.
I will be posting emergency phone contact information, how to fill out the forms to enter Honduras, along with other important information in the next few days. For the advance team, 8 days and counting! For the main team, 10 days and counting. My check off list for Monday has 18 things on it... and Monday will be considered a slow day for me! This week will fly by and I just hope I have enough time, energy, strength, patience, and will power to make it though without a melt down. But the adrenaline is pumping and the excitement is building! And I need the U.S. to win their World Cup qualifier match on Wednesday!!!! Can I get an amen out there? It is going to be a great week. Talk to you again soon.