After making it through security with my very dangerous umbrella stroller and no baby we spent the rest of our layover eating and finding our gate. Oh, and waiting for all the other passengers to get on the plane. We were the last ones on the plane again, but this time by choice. This flight was the best except for one of the flight crew. I would say this flight was perfect because the kids played for a little and then fell asleep, but the extreme rudeness of one male flight attendant to many of those us around us (do you really need to be condescending to people who don’t speak English very well who nicely asked you for headphones??) it was pretty horrible for the adults. At one point this man tried to “squeeze” into our seats so that the cart could go by, but in doing so I had to move Sammy’s tray and he started to wake Sammy up, so I told him to stop. He proceeded to throw a hissy fit and talk badly about us and told the other attendant he couldn’t fit into our seat (which was ours, which we paid full price for, even if a small sleeping 2-year-old was sitting in) because there was “too much junk”. This threw Aaron who had been biting his tongue over the edge and he turns around and yells “HEY! Watch your mouth PUNK!” This solved the problem because the guy avoided us for the rest of the flight. I was especially glad because this meant that Aaron wasn’t taken down by secret Air Marshals.
Let me break away from telling you about our trip to tell you how AWFUL American Airlines is. In our entire trip we found 2 employees to be kind and helpful, and the rest either rude, cranky, unhelpful, or trying to charge us for imaginary charges. I realize that especially being a flight attendant would be a difficult job, working a lot and with cranky and needy passengers but STILL. You knew what job you were taking, it’s not like you took it not knowing what flying/working with other humans deserving of respect was like. It is no wonder to me they recently declared bankruptcy, and honestly outside of our return ticket I will never use them again. I urge you if you have the choice to save yourself much trouble and do the same.
Anyway, after landing and deplaning in Quito we were ushered into a special line for pregnant ladies, old people, and people with kids. (Bless you Quito, you are the best!) We cleared customs, miraculously found all of our bags (even the ones we thought wouldn’t make it that were taken from us and checked in Dallas) and went out to find a taxi big enough to hold our mountain of baggage. So, I should pause here and tell you that we had 8 big checked bags, and 8 carry-ons (4 carry-ons, 4 personal items) 2 of which were extremely heavy. Just as you should when moving to another country. It was ridiculous, but we found a van that fit us quite nicely. We went to the house we always stay at and finally crashed into bed.
Thursday we just relaxed. We slept in until 10! (Thank you to the children who were on their better than best behavior the entire time!!!) We went for a walk, we emailed our families, and hung out in the house watching the kids stack dominoes. Friday morning we loaded back into the same van with our driver and drove 8 1/2 hours from Quito to Cuenca. It was probably the easiest part of our trip, the van was quite nice and comfortable, the driver mostly safe and definitely nice, and the view to die for. I of course took zero pictures because my camera was buried in one of the many aforementioned suitcases. The kids were happy, took naps, and we got to eat Ecuador’s best ice cream along the way. Arriving in Cuenca there was a parade that was blocking off many of the major streets so what should have taken us 15 minutes to get to our hotel took 50 because of the traffic jam.
Friday night we unloaded our things into a giant room with 3 sets of bunk beds and a double and went to visit our friends the Roseros. They hadn’t heard our message on their answering machine that we were coming, so they were surprised to see us. This obviously added to our delight.
Saturday we visited our favorite boy’s orphanage run by my favorite nun Sor Teresa. We surprised her too and even Sammy who normally won’t let anyone new pick her up let her. The cutest part of that visit was Harmon asking to go upstairs and play with the boys, and when we told him it was ok one of the boys grabbed his hand and led him to the toys to share. After a fun visit we spent time looking at the newspaper for houses. This is both enjoyable and frustrating, just like in the US, but slightly more difficult because it’s in Spanish. I will hopefully have a final decision/housing update for you soon. We visited another orphanage where I got to see “my kids”, all of my special disabled kids whose huge smiles remind me just how good life is.
Today (Sunday) we woke up for 8am church, saw one of my Laurels (from when we lived here before) open her mission call, and got to see lots of old friends. The kids enjoyed their combined Sunbeam/Nursery class and sort of tolerated all the attention directed their way by everyone.
We are all alive and well, and hopefully moving out of our small (for so many suitcases!) quarters and into a house soon. The kids have been loving navigating the cobblestone streets, learning new words in Spanish, and spending 24/7 with mom and dad. More later.