We figured out our schedule the night before and we knew we needed to be ready to check out by 1:45 to allow for plenty of time for the trip to the airport.
We got up and had breakfast and orginially planned to go swimming, but a huge thunderstorm broke out, the first since we have been here. We did not see lightning, but we decided against swimming. There were two small boys who went in the pool we could see from our room, but none of the other people on the deck got in. We decided that confirmed our decision not to go.
We packed and got ready. We decided to eat at the airport.
It was a good thing we allowed a lot of time as things did not go smoothly at the airport. Apparently they give Senior Citizens preferential treatment and moved us to the head of the line, but the woman agent could not get our tickets and passports to line up with boarding passes. The English speaking man who moved us to the head of the line tried to help her with no success. Then he took us out of line and across the entire boarding area to another counter where he tried unsuccessfully to get us boarding passes. Personally I think the issue was that since we were together he thought everything should line up, but obviously it did not. Anna and I were going to Atlanta together and then changing destinations after we got through customs.
I think the guy finally realized we were not going to be on the same plane to our final destination and eventually he got us a boarding pass. Anna’s was to DC, her final destination, but mine was only to Minneapolis.
We realized we needed to check for our luggage at Sao Paulo which we did. Anna’s did not come off, but mine did so we had to go get in another line to check it to Anchorage.
We needed to get Rachel a Brazilian t shirt as part of her birthday gift so Anna went shopping and also exchanged some of our money while I waited.
Eventually we went to the gate and after another long wait, boarded the plane. This was a big plane with two seats on either side of the side aisles with three seats in the middle. It was not full so after we had our dinner, Anna and I both claimed an unoccupied row, got our blanket and pillows and settled in for the night. Anna told me later that she watched a movie, but I tried to sleep. Actually we both had quite a bit of sleep.
Soon it was morning and after breakfast we landed and went through customs. I remembered my other times going through customs in Atlanta and I can tell you that things are definitely streamlined now. It was pretty quick and we were soon on our way through the airport to Anna’s gate. She was scheduled to leave a lot earlier than I so I waited with her until her plane boarded, then I started off to find my gate. It was quite a long way off, but I got there in plenty of time to board.
This plane was packed and I was beginning to really feel the effects of some type of bug that I had caught. I was coughing and especially blowing my nose a lot. I had a middle seat next to a woman who had been a missionary in Budapest Hungary. She told me a lot about her experiences and it was quite interesting. She originally was sent from Abbott Loop Church in Anchorage. She has lived there for 15 years.
By the time we got to Anchorage, I just wanted to lie down. I missed the shuttle the first time it went by, but eventually I arrived at the motel, checked in and went to my room.
I was so thankful for a bed in which to sleep and to be on the final leg of my journey. I missed Anna and Jamille, and I was so thankful for this amazing opportunity.
God is so good.