By Dr. Little
3:14 am Houston Airport
How many times in life do you get an extra, unexpected holiday day! That’s what eight CCS students and Mr. Alter and Mr. Kempe and Dr. Little got today. An extra day of vacation tacked onto the end of the most amazing Guatemala trip yet! As I speak, Sophie and Destiny and Wesley are sleeping sitting up, the others are stretched out on the floor, Mr. Kempe is sleeping (I hope) in Miami after his flight cancellation, and probably Mr. Alter is asleep in his car in the cell phone lot in Dulles. It all started almost exactly 24 hours ago….
…when we all loaded onto a bus in beautiful Antigua to say goodbye to Guatemala after an incredible trip. Personally, I thought that leaving on national election day would be a problem, because of traffic and confusion and everything else, but getting on the planes in Guatemala and getting out was dream-easy. Things fell apart when we crossed over into US airspace. I blame Chac Mool, the Mayan rain god. Delays on delays on delays. Some made it through–Willhem to New Orleans, Connor to Miami, Alter to DC, but most of us are still en route. The Houston crew even made it out onto the runway at about 11 pm, and were third in line for take off, when our pilots told us that they were over their time limit for consecutive hours worked, so we had to turn around. Close but no cigar.
I will repeat here what I told the kids through this whole ordeal. I would not rather be travelling with anyone going through this. They have been cheerful and helpful, one keeping the other’s spirits up, one buying another dinner, sharing pillows and blankets and sleeping bags. They are a really tough, kind, thoughtful, and resourceful group. Kudos to all you parents who brought up these young souls who will make an amazing contribution to our world.
This has been a trip for the record books, and I think future Guatemala groups will be lucky to experience 1/2 of what we’ve done. And hopefully, we’ve all learned an important lesson–buy hammocks in Guatemala–you might need to string them up in the Houston Airport!