Good morning on the first day

It has been very dry here but it rained fairly hard last evening. I think it cooled down to the low-to-mid 80’s overnight. My body has not, in the last 12 hours, adjusted to the heat. Typing makes me sweat.

carribean sunrise-2

Yesterday was an adventure. I arrived at the Indy airport the recommended 2 hours ahead of an international flight. When I checked in the nice lady at the counter told me that the plane was overbooked and that she would not be able to give me a seat assignment, I would have to get that at the gate.
She then weighed my two storage containers that held my personal stuff and some equipment, supplies, and books for the school. Ms Candi had asked for a clock, stapler, some bulletin board supplies, pens, etc. One box weighed in at 49.5 lbs and the other at 51.5. I was reaching for the second box to remove a book or two when she smiled, pulled the box off the scales and placed it on the belt to the airplane.
Then she gave me some advice, “When you get to the gate, give the gate agent your name and destination. Being assertive will not be necessary, just let her know.”
So that is exactly what I did. Then I listened as they announced that they needed to have two people volunteer to take a later flight; they were offering a $300 transferable voucher. I was tempted, but thought that I should arrive when I said I would for Sam and Becky’s sake. Soon enough she called for “Mr. Dale Graves” and printed my boarding passes with a seat assignment.
Then I began looking for an airplane. No airplane. So. of course, I begin to worry about the timing in Houston; we had only scheduled a 53 minute layover. The airplane finally arrived about 20 minutes before our scheduled departure time, so we departed late. We arrived in Houston 20 minutes late and we were arriving at gate C77a which is not exactly close to E3 where the plane to Belize was boarding.

I hurried off the plan, which turned out to be pointless because the plane to Houston had been a small plane and I had had to check my carry-on at the plane. So I waited impatiently. It seemed like a very long time, but I suppose it was only 5 minutes or so. As soon as it was passed through the door, I grabbed it and began walking as fast as this old guy can walk. I arrived at the terminal transfer train just as one was leaving, but another arrived in about a minute, so I didn’t feel too bad. We were humming our way over to gate E, and I was beginning to feel better, when the train just stopped and the announcer said that we were delayed. No indication of how long. I’m not sure how long that lasted, another eternity, I’m sure. At that point I began rehearsing my speech to the flight attendant about the possibilities of getting a later flight and still be able to make it to Belize on the same day.

When the train arrived at E terminal, I hurried as fast as I could to E3. I’m pretty sure it was about a 5 mile walk. The departure time was scheduled for 1:08. I arrived at 1:08, absolutely sure that I had missed my plane, but there was still a lady at the counter. She quickly took my ticket and passport, scanned them and send me down the runway. I heard her trying to call down to the end of the runway.

I walked quickly and the lady at the other end of the runway looked like she had seen a ghost. I noticed that the door was already closed, so I just looked at her with a question in my eyes. Just then I heard a voice behind me telling her to knock on the door and have them open it. She didn’t look too sure about that , but she did it anyway and a miracle occurred, the door opened and I was allowed on the plane.
I expected to get a bunch of dirty looks from the other passengers, but that did not happen. My guess is that Belize is not exactly a hub and that none of these passengers was hurrying to catch another plane. Or maybe this was just a planeload of Belizeans and time isn’t the same here…
I was on the plane and headed for Belize. I sat beside a Belizean farmer who raises chickens and cows. He lives just south of the Mexican border and grew up in Mexico, but has been farming in Belize for 30 years. And now I know where the chickens in the grocery store come from.

We arrived in Belize on time. The nice man at the entry point informed me that he could only give me a 30 day visa, and that I would need to extend it, which I already knew, and the customs agent decided that he did not need to charge me anything for the supplies I was bringing to the school. So I was good to go.
Sam and Becky met me at the exit, informed me that my apartment is not quite ready and it would probably be best if I stayed with them overnight. That was quite fine, because it gave me a chance to visit with them.
This morning I woke at my normal 6:00 am, except that Indiana happens to be 2 hours ahead of Belize City, so I rearranged the totes and got one of them ready to go to the school with the new equipment and supplies.

Then I went out to take some photos of the sunrise from their back yard.

carribean sunrise


2 thoughts on “Good morning on the first day

  1. I love reading what you write and even though I had read the tidbits on Facebook as it was happening, having it all in one place is perfect and entertaining for me, but I can imagine the millions of conversations you must have been having in your head as each of these delays took place. So glad you made it to Belize safely and on time. I hope you settle in quickly and that your adjustment time is smooth.

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