And So It Begins…

What a whirlwind of a day it has been!

Yes, I know I just wrote the last blog entry too, but I am writing again because I am currently the only one from our group that has made it down here.

For me, the day began at 5:20 am this morning when my alarm went off telling me that it was time for the DR adventures to commence.  I checked in, got through security, made it to my gate, departed DIA on time and landed in MIA early.  This NEVER happens…so I should have known that something was up.  Alas, I got a text from Emily Hanigan saying that her and the rest of the group were stuck in Chicago because of weather…but that they would most likely still make our flight to Santiago.  My heart sunk a little at first, but I wasn’t too worried…until their new departure time kept getting pushed back later and later and later.  So for four and a half hours I literally wondered back and forth across the D concourse of MIA by myself trying to figure out how to connect with the group.

After a couple of different phone conversations, we decided it would be best if I got on the plane to Santiago regardless of whether they did or not, and Kyle Wooley would pick me up at the airport (I finally “met” him over the phone in the midst of this chaos…and I really only knew what he looked like from pictures, so we would have to figure out how to find each other in Santiago).  

So here I am, never having been outside of the country before (besides Mexico) about to board a plane by myself and look for someone I had never actually met.  I was nervous at first, but I reminded myself that I could do this!  I mean my entire last blog post had been about how I was ready…so bring it on weather and airports, bring it on.

I anxiously waited to board, hoping that by some miracle the rest of my group would appear.  The lady at the American Airlines desk told me twice that their flight was to get in 6:38 pm and that we would probably leave at 6:45, which meant there was a slight chance they could make it.  So I boarded the plane, texted Emily and told her we were at gate D 24.  She called seconds later saying they were just getting off the plane at D 23…I looked out the window and could literally see their plane.  She told me to cause a scene and stall the plane so they could make it.  HA!  But I decided that I did not want to get escorted off the plane today, and I politely asked the flight attendant if there was any way we could wait for literally 2.5 seconds for about 20 people to board our plane from one gate over.  She made a call, but unfortunately said there was nothing she could do.  Seriously this felt like a scene out of a movie.  Emily told me Gaby Mock was sprinting to our gate JUST as we were pulling out onto the tarmac.  We literally missed each other by seconds and inches.

Such is life. 

After a smooth flight and a friendly conversation with a missionary named Mike who sat next to me, I was feeling pretty good about everything.  I made my way through customs, met Kyle, and drove to the center in the middle of a power outage.  

After a yummy meal and a tour of the Mission, I am feel great (minus the fact that I need to get used to this hot, sticky humidity)!  Kyle and I heard from the rest of the group that they were fortunate enough to get a flight out of Santo Domingo and should get here at about 3:00 in the morning.  So soon we shall be reunited! 

And so the adventures have indeed begun.

In making the best out of what life just kind of throws at you sometimes, 

Ray J


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