May 15th 2011
I packed up my belonging,s including two HUGE 50 lb totes for donations to the hospital. I was so blessed by the generous giving of others. It was jam packed!!
I checked into the airport, and the attendant was no encouraging, he told me I missed the best flight of the weekend, and it was unlikely I would make it to my destination by Monday...
I happily waited, made calls to my kids, and ensured everyone was doing what they should.
I made the first flight and got off in Dallas. DFW is a HUGE airport, it takes allot of maneuvering to get from one portal to the next. I had my backpack with my personal belongings as well as the laptop, so that all I valued in my luggage stayed with me...
It was allot of sacrifice and saving up for this trip, and a few details really bogged me down.
one: I had to leave a day before originally planned because of flight loads.
two: the signatures I was originally anticipating were in Limbo of NARM rules.
three: the night before I left I spoke to a relative who had spent 2 weeks in Haiti, and some of the information she gave me left me discouraged and anticipating troubles.
This was my first trip alone, and my first trip out of the country (besides a cruise, and in my opinion those don't count!)
There were allot of unknowns... and I was a wee bit nervous!
After I arrived in DFW I waited for 2 hrs and got a seat assignment. the Discouraging words of the original gate agent were now being disproved!
In Miami I had a longer wait, there was a BIG group of youth with matching Tee shirts that said "Orphanage Outreach" I spoke to a few of them and heard all about the program they were attending, they were to teach and help at an Orphanage in DR for 2 weeks. They were all from Canada and were fresh faced and sweet girls.
I shared my desires to adopt with one Older Youth leader, she had received a Grant to attend the Program at Orphanage Outreach, her college took applications and offered an all expense paid summer (3 months) to work at this Orphanage!
After Miami's flight (which I got a seat on the first available and last flight of the night)
I was feeling very blessed!
I arrived in Santiago, made my way through customs and got my bags. They Customs officer wanted to see in the donations bins, and they were curious about the 75 ambu-bags in the box! it was tough to explain with no Spanish skills!!
I successfully made it through the process GOT my first PASSPORT STAMP!!
This was the frustrating part, I didn't have international calling on my Verizon Phone... It was 3$ per minute for calls, so i turned off the calling option.
However this left me at the mercy of the late night Taxi drivers to communicate where I wanted to go and how much I was wiling to pay!
It was SO FRUSTRATING!!
I finally agreed to Hi-Way robbery of 20$ for a cab ride (when we were informed of the last group paid $10) The only taxi driver that spoke minimal English communicated with all the other options of transportation, so no matter who I used the price was the same...
It was a 15 drive to the Hotel Matum, The place was first class and the staff extremely kind and helpful!
I met Tracy Cuneo on the first night I arrived, we visited and settled in for a bit when Eve & Terri arrived from Canada.
It was delightful to meet these ladies, and we bonded and meshed immediately as a group.
We went to sleep in a cool comfortable bed.
Then the FIESTA'S began!!
From midnight until 5 a.m. the party went on in the parking lot and the street market below our window. it was a grand event! the radios and laughter were loud enough and long enough we didn't get a wink of sleep! UNTIL 5!
then the alarm went off at 7 am......