26 February 2010

Things I learned from Isaac’s return flight to Mexico City:

1. Give Isaac a “local” number to call in case he needs it.
2. Don’t just ask if he has ENOUGH cash, ask how much he has.
3. Give him extra cash just in case.
4. Over-communicate.
5. Pray more regarding his travels home
6. Know how to communicate with his family in Mexico.

Here’s how it went down for Isaac’s return trip yesterday:

Night before: Bob asks Isaac if he has enough money for food. Isaac says yes. I think no more about it.

630am: S&M pick Isaac up at my house and head to Des Moines. He’s in good hands. I say a quick prayer for him and jump in the shower. While showering, I realize I didn’t give him the financial gift I had on my dresser for him. Oh well, I’ll get it to him eventually.

1pm: S&M take Isaac to the airport. Time is running short. They give Isaac $10 for food, see Isaac through security and watch him walk away. After he’s no longer in site, M realizes its too late and wishes she would’ve given him somebody’s phone number just in case.

730pm: Isaac should be leaving Atlanta for Mexico City.

815pm: I’m sitting in bible study and my phone rings with 3 different calls, none of the numbers I recognize. Thinking it a little odd for the 3 calls, I finally answer my phone. It’s Isaac’s sister in law’s brother. Follow that one? (Isaac was visiting his brother and sister in law in central Iowa before he came to our place. While Isaac was visiting us, his brother and sister in law left for Peru). Isaac’s SIL’s brother, Luis, was trying to make some connections for the family. Isaac had emailed Israel, his brother, about problems with his flight but Israel didn’t fully understand it. Israel was on the computer instant messaging with Luis who lives in MN and asked him to call me. Luis called and I knew nothing.
820pm: I call S&M who are still in the Ames/Des Moines area to ask them what they know about Isaac’s trip. They’re busy with friends so I leave a message.

830ish: I jump on facebook and with some help from google translate, I find out that Isaac had a flight delay and was still at the airport and planning to sleep there. Can S&M go get him? If they catch their message soon enough, maybe they can.

Searching for details about Isaac’s flight continued and included people in 3 different countries. Over the next few hours while sitting at Meg’s house with her laptop in my lap, we try to figure out what’s going on. Waiting for returned phone calls and trying to come up with a plan, I also sit and visit with friends. A few more have showed up now and we chat, look at Kara’s facebook pics of the last week of events and dig around.

1015ish: I facebook Isaac asking him where he’s at but he’s not on facebook so who knows if he’ll get the message. I’m thankful that when we repacked his bags, we had him put the laptop his aunt had him purchase for her in his carry-on. This would be his sole method of communication unless he had money to buy a pre-paid phone card to call Mexico since he doesn’t have phone #’s of anyone in the states.

1030pm: Michelle is leaving Salt Company in Ames, get my message and calls me back. She offers to go get Isaac at the airport. Michelle wishes they’d given Isaac someone’s phone number and more cash for food, etc. Meg wonders if Isaac is in Atlanta since his flight was DELAYED, not cancelled. How can we figure that out??? I tell Michelle maybe he’s not in DesMoines and hang up with her so I can gather some more info.

1106pm: Determined to find out what’s going on, I open my email and search for Isaac’s itinerary that was sent to me back in January. I’m so thankful that I asked for the itinerary and didn’t get the time of his flight back then! With that information, I open Delta’s website and plug in his flight details. It shows it being on time. Then Meg wonders if the date is right. I tell her that I chose today. Ah, today is now Friday if you’re on eastern time! Change the dates and Isaac’s flight info pops up. His flight leaving Des Moines was delayed 3 hours. It did leave and arrive in Atlanta 3 hours late which meant that having only 1 hour layover, he missed his connection to Mexico City.

1115pm: I call Michelle and let her know he should be in Atlanta. The group at Meg’s spends a few minutes trying to think of anyone they might know in Atlanta that would pick Isaac up so he doesn’t have to sleep in the airport. No luck there.

1130pm: I’m tired but adrenaline is moving and I don’t even feel tired. I’m sorry that I didn’t take better care of Isaac. I sent him off with two granola bars, no cash, no contact number, and a short prayer. Good friend that I am.

1145pm: head for home. While driving, I think to let Luis know what I’ve learned so that he can contact Israel in Peru and Israel can contact his dad in Mexico. It’s late for a phone call so I opt for a text message (yes, I actually texted). I wait until I get home to text Luis: “Isaac is stuck in Atlanta. Will fly to Mexico manana.”

Midnight: I crawl in bed and my phone rings with a reply from Luis.

Seriously, how did Isaac get this lucky? Most of us would be ticked about the delays. Some of us would use it to our advantage and let the airline fix what was going on. With the swipe of a credit/debit card, we would have had food to eat, bought a book or game to entertain us, and grabbed out our cell phone to make a phone call. That doesn’t work the same when you’re not an American national and you don’t have American money, carry a US cell phone, or have a credit card. I hope you survived Isaac and are willing to come back again sometime!

This morning I open my email to see a facebook message in my email. It was from Isaac at 1148pm last night. It read: “i have arrive now in the hotel in atlanta...its a lon long day...... i wait for lon time in des moines......but i'm ok.. tomorrow i will leavin at 9 am... thank u for all....bless u“. I’m thankful for the contact from Isaac and decide to spend a few minutes to pray for the rest of his trip! I’m tired too buddy and I didn’t have the day you had yesterday!!!

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