Monday, April 17, 2006

Travel home

We certainly saw God's hand of providence in the last couple days before we left PR. Our final preparations began in very great ernest (they'd been in "great ernest" for several days) on Tuesday morning. We had to do a final cleaning of the house to pass our inspection at 4 p.m. that day. Ben and I did most of it Tuesday (4/4), and then we hired a lady to come and help us finish up with some of the harder stuff on Tuesday afternoon. We were not quite done when the ladies arrived for the inspection, but our cleaning help was still there, so they quickly cleaned as problems were pointed out. I was furiously throwing the last few piles of our things into boxes and suitcases. Thankfully, our landlord was not there for the inspection. About 10 minutes away from home, Ben remembered that he'd left his laptop in the closet, a bad problem since we'd locked ourselves out of the house. Except that we forgot to lock 1 door (completely accidently)!

We spent the night at a hotel on the beach which was great, and very relaxing. We went swimming in the morning, and the rain began as we had to go inside in order to make our flight.

We completely did not leave enough time to get through the airport, and the lines were hours long; we were never going to make our flight. But our flight was delayed an hour and this very nice porter took all our bags and somehow got them on the flight without them being weighed (I'm sure we had some that were overweight) and without us waiting through the ticketing line. In my furious packing at the last minute, I put all my kitchen utensils including 4 knives into a suitcase I was planning to put inside a box and check. At the very last minute the suitcase, which was small, didn't fit in the box, and without considering the contents, I just decided to take it as a carry-on. Security noticed my 4 kitchen knives (including my bread saw...not exactly discreet), and thankfully gave Ben the option of checking the suitcase instead of just confiscating my knives. We, however, had our maximum number of checked pieces already, and would have to pay a fee to check another. Mercifully, and for no reason, the attendant just let us check the extra bag for free. Because of the hour delay leaving San Juan, we were likely going to miss our connecting flight, but somehow we made it. Our luggage didn't make the connection, but it came through later that evening. Ben stayed at the airport and picked it up while I went on home with Ben's parents and the girls. By 1 a.m. or so we were home with all our luggage. Operative word of the day: mercy. God giving us what we didn't deserve. We could have not passed the inspection, it could have rained at the beach, we could have missed our flights, had our knives confiscated, been charged for overweight luggage, been charged for excessive checked bags, lost our luggage.... Mercy.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Sunday's News

Here's our schedule starting Friday (3/31) until we leave on Weds. (4/5):

Friday - Ben's last day at work
Saturday - pack, pack, pack, & do a little shopping
Sunday - rest; good-bye party at church in the evening
Monday - finish packing; movers come to take our shipment of stuff which should get to our house 10 days - 2 weeks after we do. Start a little cleaning? Finish any little odds and ends.
Tuesday - we clean in the morning; friends come to help us do the heavy cleaning (under furniture, etc) in the afternoon. Tuesday night we will stay at a hotel by the beach for one last time by the ocean.
Wednesday - our flight leaves at 12:45 p.m. We will be in Indy by 8 p.m., Lord willing.

Lots of mixed feelings on leaving: sad to leave friends here, excited to see friends and family at home.

Other news:

Curious to hear what others think about the current proposals concerning illegal immigration. Have read several perspectives and there are a lot of sides to consider: Are we assimilating immigrants well? Will Republicans "polarize" themselves against Hispanic voters? Should we grant "amnesty" to so many illegals? My personal question is: What is happening to the second and third generation of illegal immigrants? Are they staying and working like their parents, or are they (and their parents?) milking their citizenship by birth for government benefits (housing, healthcare, food stamps, etc.)? Additionally, I would like to see the government grant citizenship by birth only to children of citizens; it doesn't seem right that someone of illegal status can birth someone who has legal status. Thoughts? Forward any links to me with articles addressing these issues...