Monday morning early, and I mean early, the kids and I arrived at the Springfield-Branson Regional airport to board a plane that would take us first to Atlanta, then to Mérida, Yucatan, Mexico. Everything went smoothly, albeit slowly with 3 young kids, through scanners and checkpoints, with each one carrying their own carry-on luggage
When we got to Atlanta, they led us down the steps from the plane to what seemed to be an employee entrance below and then we took an elevator which brought us to the main portion of the terminal. After learning that our connecting flight was in a different wing . . . surprise, surprise, we made our way taking the airport mini-subway train, then walked to the correct gate in terminal E.
After settling in our seats we decided to make a trip (and it’s always a trip with kids and luggage) to the restrooms which were actually fairly close. However, just before heading off, Joseph asked where he should but a piece of trash, and I pointed to a trash can a mere 5 feet away, directly in front of us. Not thinking anything of it, I turned to deal with Jonathan and getting his backpack on, etc. and lifted my head to address Joseph to do the same, but he was nowhere to be seen! Panic immediately set it and I started calling for him and moving toward the main hallway looking toward the bathrooms in case he had decided to head in that direction. But no Joseph. I turned back toward the kids asking them if they knew where he went when a Yucatecan lady pointed the opposite direction. There he was, at a TRASHCAN that was totally obscured behind a column – throwing away his scrap of of paper! His look showed complete oblivity (is that a word?) and mine some kind of mixture of anger and relief. Let’s just say he got a firm talking to . . .
To continue, we boarded the 2nd plane which was less than half full, or nearly empty, however you would like to view it, and caught a few minutes of zzzzzzzs here and there, between overtired kids and bathroom breaks and snack time on the plane, during about 2 hours of travel time. At the airport in Mérida, we got through the line at immigration and proceeded to the luggage area where our action packers (incredible, versatile pieces of luggage) and car seats were waiting on the turnstile for us. The guys that help with luggage loaded them up to move them about 20 feet to customs where there were 3 ladies doing the luggage checks. They asked me if all this luggage was mine and, after confirming that question, I was asked to push a button on a mini traffic light of sorts to see whether I would get the random “green” all clear to pass right on through or the “red” where they would have to look through all the luggage. We got red. It actually only took 10 or 15 minutes at most to do that and we were greeted by veteran missionaries Paul and Sandy Kazim, who took the kids to get something to drink during this process. Thanks Uncle Paul! Thanks Aunt Sandy! (Side note: missionary kids call other missionary adults “aunt” and “uncle”)
So, here we are. Everyone is safe and hopefully rested this morning as I write this. Thank you, Lord, for Your hand of protection and favor. Thank you also to those who have been praying and continue to pray as the Daves continue their journey on the roads of Mexico.