Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Arrival in a Foreign Land

Although I am currently sitting comfortably on my bed, with two fans blowing on me and a protective tent of mosquito netting draped around me, I still do not quite believe we are actually here, on the island of Nevis. Of course, this disbelief is more the result of the humor that comes from ultimate despair rather than simply pure joy over being in such a place for, you see, today was the longest day of my life. I thought it would never end! And, yet somehow it did, for here I sit. Let me start at the beginning.

Farrell and I left Greensboro at about 1:50 pm yesterday, which was a little later than intended because we stopped in to see my elderly neighbors before we left. From there, we skipped Raleigh and headed to Goldsboro to pick up some last minute supplies. After finding only two water bladders and one field bag, we decided that was good enough and we packed back into the truck for Raleigh where we had a nice, relaxing Chinese dinner with Ty, followed by an hour and a half break at his house. Then, at 11:00 pm it was time to go meet Farrell's Dad at the airport. His flight was a little late, but it was not a big problem, as we still had plenty of time to catch-up. By 2:30 am though, we were all getting sleepy, so Frank decided to head back to Goldsboro and Daniel and I got all our stuff out of the car and headed back into the airport for what turned out to be little more than two hours of awkwardly positioned sleep on a bed of airport chairs and tables. At 4:20 am we woke up and got in line to check-in and check our bags, which could barely even be classified as ordered chaos. But we made it through that line and on through security as well. What made all this worse was that I was not feeling well at all this morning – a combination of nerves, discomfort from awkward sleep, and possibly bad Chinese food. However, I saw a Brueggers in the airport and was able to stomach half a plain bagel and some coffee. Finally, feeling a smidge better, we boarded the plane to Miami which left at 6:55 am from RDU and arrived at 8:55, a manageable ride. Unfortunately, Miami is where things began to turn slightly downhill.

The flight to St. Kitts was supposed to leave at 10:45 am and arrive on the island at 1:50 pm. There are two major problems with this: (1) it is over a 3 hour flight and (2) the plane does not serve lunch or any sort of complimentary food item. To make matters worse, there was no where to eat in the Miami airport; our only choices were moderately cheap and very unhealthy or ungodly expensive. So, we ate nothing. To make matters worse, once on the plane, they had to do some maintenance, which means we sat there while crews added parts to the airplane. Furthermore, the tv programming provided for entertainment ended about 2 hours into this 3-hour flight...and all there was to look at was ocean. It was the perfect storm for boredom, but, despite what I thought at the time, I did survive the excruciating flight. However, things became even weirder once at the airport, where various men “helped” us (really, the entire group) with our bags, “help” hear meaning to basically take your bags and demand a dollar for each bag to have them returned. They were at the Ferry as well, and every other place we moved our bags. Only the first set managed to sneak our luggage away though, needless to say we all quickly learned our lesson. Despite the stress and angsts, it was still totally worth it! We got a bird's eye view of the volcanoes on St. Kitts and Nevis, a truly unique glimpse of the changing vistas between the islands as seen from the ferry (although surprisingly long for such a short distance), and to finally be here, relaxing under my mosquito net.

Until Next Time,

PS – Pictures are soon to come, no worries!

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