Thoughts On Losing Donald But Gaining a Gecko

Sometimes when you think the adventure is over, the adventure is just beginning. Such was the case with our team’s trip home.

We arrived at the San Pedro Sula airport safely and in plenty of time. There was even electricity, something that was thrilling to note for those of us from last year’s June trip. Ardyn had made plans to travel on to Porte Cortez and was to meet her friend there at the airport to get her there. Remember what I said about making plans in the first blog of our trip? Well, God obviously had other plans because when Ardyn called her friend to see where he was, he said he thought he was to meet her the next day! Fortunately, El Abuelo was still there and was able to give her a ride back to Quimistan, where she made arrangements to go with Roxanne to Porte Cortez on Monday, as Roxanne needed to pick up her vehicle there anyway. It’s all good, as Ardyn is fond of saying.

In the San Pedro Sula airport, one of our members was briefly detained while he disposed of a lighter that Security had found in his luggage. Otherwise, the next leg of the trip went flawlessly.

Once in Atlanta, things became interesting. Our group split up: half to ride home from Atlanta with Bruce, and the other half to catch a later flight to Columbia after a four-hour layover. Unbeknownst to the Columbia group, the Drive Home group was delayed in leaving the airport due to luggage problems. After waiting for their luggage to clear Customs, and against his wishes, Sam’s luggage turned out to be on its way to Miami, and much wrangling was needed to take care of this issue. After waiting in the parking lot for three hours, Bruce was finally able to take his crew home, finally arriving in Aiken right at midnight.

Back in Atlanta, the Columbia group settled in at their gate for the long layover. After killing time traveling the shuttle all over the airport and eating a leisurely and long-awaited junk food meal, we discovered 40 minutes before our flight that we were at the wrong gate. We high-tailed it to the correct gate, and boarding soon commenced. Lauren, Christa, Annalise and I presented our boarding passes and were sent on down the walkway. Donald was detained, but that didn’t worry us too much as we thought whatever problem he had encountered would be handled quickly and he would be on his way. No way. Apparently, his boarding pass showed he was booked for an earlier flight which he had missed, and this plane was too loaded down to take him. When we realized what had happened, panic took over as we realized that he was stranded. We were not allowed to get off and he was not allowed on, but we did manage to get Christa’s cell phone to him so we could converse. Donald was very laid-back about the whole ordeal. Although cash-poor by this point in our travels, he had a credit card with him and was able to use it to spend the night in a hotel, taking an early morning flight to Columbia on Sunday.

The rest of our group, only four in number now, made it to Columbia and went to pick up our luggage. Although our personal suitcases didn’t make the flight due to slow processing in Atlanta, our empty trunks did. One trunk was partially open when it arrived, with its lock missing. Upon further inspection, it was discovered that a gecko was within, having made the flight as an illegal alien. Christa immediately foresaw the possibilities and closed the trunk with the intent of capturing it when we got home to have as a pet. Again, things didn’t go as planned. When we opened the trunk at home, the gecko resisted our efforts at hospitality and scurried off to live in the cracks and crevises of our kitchen cabinets, where he is no doubt well-fed by the numerous critters found within.

The next morning, Christa and I met Donald at the Columbia airport, none the worse for wear and in good spirits after a solid five hours sleep and a good hotel breakfast.

So our adventure once again ended. And yet, I have no doubt that God has another adventure in store for us, keeping us safely in his loving care while stretching our capacity to cope when things don’t go as “we” planned. It’s all good.