Day 2. The Travel Mambo
…first things first: today is…hmmmm. Honestly, I’m not sure what the day is. But I’m fairly certain this is the third day of airports, frantic phone calls to anyone who’ll listen, and surprisingly enjoyable JetLite mambo- dance-while-you’re-on-hold music. (it’s really good… if you have some free time, i seriously recommend you check it out)
So things have been a little crazy (understatement?). And in view of this eventful beginning a few ‘thank you’s’ are certainly in order:
First, to our famillies and friends who’ve been on call, helping to find numbers, make calls, look up addresses, etc, etc, etc, etc, and give much needed encouragement. We are truly so thankful. (p.s. Mom- you seriously should consider a second life as a data mining and information research specialist…incredible…)
Second, to Carolyn and Dorn in Memphis… your excitement and warmth were such a relief after lots of confusion and exhaustion. And your vision and passion for living out the way of Jesus is inspiring, truly inspiring. That’s what we want our lives to look like. So keep loving people, bringing hope and reconciliation.
Third, to our good friends and brothers John and Zach…you hold Jersey down. How great it was to see your ragged faces at the airport. Good friends, a warm house, and the best homeade Philly cheesestake subs I’ve ever had. Your passion for people, redemption, and figuring out how to live all of this out intensifies our own strivings. Thanks for being really good friends, for your lives and great conversations. Keep following Jesus.
Fourth, the lady at the Continental counter in Memphis. Thanks for making the flight to Jersey possible and for smiling a lot.
Fifth, and seriously one of my new favorite people: Roshenani (rosh-nee), one of the operators for JetLite. You were so incredibly helpful and patient and you gave a little glimmer of hope when it looked like no one would help us. Without you, I’m certain I’d still be on hold listening to incredible hold music, in the midst of an emotional breakdown.
I realize all of this sounds like a book thank you and I should’ve thanked my publisher and editor and such, but there have been so many people a part of this trip already that I really wanted to show our gratitude. So thank you so very very much.
A brief update: today we found out that India is one of the few countries requiring visas to enter the airport, even if you’re routing through to another country. In short, we didn’t know this until we were at the ticket counter getting our boarding passes in Memphis. Yes we agree, this was not ideal, we should’ve know this before, how could we not know this, why didn’t anyone else help give us this small but vital piece of info, how could we not know this, we should’ve figured this out before, how could we not know this already…yeah.
So what ensued was several hours of frantic phone calling and figuring out some of the most creative ways to get to Kathmandu. We considered getting rid of our checked bags so we wouldn’t have to go through customs in Delhi (because we’re changing airlines our bags couldn’t be shipped straight through to Kathmandu…so because they couldn’t be shipped through, we would’ve had to get our bags, go through customs, and re-enter the airport, which requires a visa…if you’re confused, we completely understand). We tried getting in touch with someone who could add our trip from Delhi to Kathmandu onto our Continental itenerary…that meant calling Jet Airways who, after explaining the entire dilemma, let me know I needed to call JetLite (more rockin’ music)…who were again very helpful and gave me a few other numbers to call. But then we found out that we had to have visas regardless of whether our entire trip itenerary moved us through India to another country. So, we tried finding other cities outside of India that we could fly to and then continue on to Kathmandu…Continental doesn’t have any other way into Nepal except through India. Finally, our friend at the Continental counter helped us with another option of possibly getting visas in New York. So now we’re in Jersey, preparing to go to the Indian consulate tomorrow to turn in visa applications and hopefully get them back early Wednesday. If we get our visas back in time on Wednesday, then we’ll catch a flight from Jerseyto Delhi on Wednesday night. And we wanted an adventure…
Incredibly, the preceding paragraph probably took you a couple of minutes to read (possibly more if you really tried to figure out what was going on and then happened next), but in real time lasted from our arrival at the Memphis airport around 11:30am until now… 1:40am the following day.
So thanks for reading and helping and praying and just believing in us. Off now to get our visa applications ready.
grace and peace