Bill, Melody and Charlie go to Nicarauga travel blog


9:00 am - Funny River

We are now home, home after arriving in Anchorage and getting to the hotel at 2 am. From the time we woke up in Managua until we checked into the Anchorage Hotel it was a total of 24 hours of travel time.

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To back track - Sunday night after the we return to the base from visiting our families one last time and watching the soccer tournament awards we had dinner and then communion after a short message from Harrison we had sharing time. Sharing time was how the trip affected individuals. For me, it showed that there is a difference between "giving" and "serving".

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The rest of the team didn't get to bed until about midnight with a departure time of 4:30 am on Monday morning. I woke up at 4 am to get up and say good-bye to the team. Many of them were surprised that I did when I had the opportunity to sleep in. The rolls that Travis "made" were really good. After saying good by I went back to bed until about 7:30 am.

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After breakfast with Melody, Travis asked if I wanted to go with him to the Galleria to pick up a rocking chair. We went quite a ways, further than I thought we would to the Galleria. I found one that had "wagon wheels" on the side - a perfect gift for my father-in-law who turns 80 the Saturday after we return. We also went back to the Vet's office to see if the paperwork for Charlie had been returned. They had not yet but that they would be ready at 4 pm. We returned to the base to get Melody and hopefully meet with Tammy and the 2 professional photographers.

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Unfortunately we could not connect with Tammy but we did get to take Tayller with us to a Nica Restaurant. Travis had called previously to see if we could take Charlie and were told that we could. We could, however we had to sit at a table that was next to an atrium and Charlie had to stay in it while we ate. We chose the typical Nica meal and split it. Along with the meat, we had grilled potatoes and grilled ripe bananas - all very good.

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After lunch we were able to stop by the Vet's Office, pick up Charlie's paperwork - at total of $65.00. $15 dollars for the vaccine and $50.00 for the exportation fees. We returned to the base, quickly finished packing. Said good-bye to my Tocayo (Eduardo), Marvin, Freddie. I have Aida my Alaska T-Sheet with a large grizzly bear on it and Melody gave Dr. Melba a couple of hats that she had knitted to give to her young son and daughter.

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Travis the drove us to the Best Western Hotel which is located right across the street from the Managua airport. We checked in and said good-bye. Now, in retrospect it was almost more difficult to say good-bye to Travis than the others even though I didn't have much interaction with him. Both he and his wife Tammy are truly remarkable people and examples of servants.

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After settling in Melody and I went to the pool and laid in the remaining amount of sunshine of the day - about an hour. We then got dressed and had a very nice dinner in an covered outside dinning area by the pool. There was no sense of hurry or being rushed.

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We woke up at 5:30 am to get ready to go to the airport which opened at 6 am. After a quick complimentary breakfast we left the hotel about 6:15 am and arrived a few minutes later. We a porter came up with a luggage cart to "help" us, I told him "tango no diners" meaning I don't have any money. He called another guy to come over and carry the rocking chair into the counter for us.

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At the counter, the agent was going to check our bags just to Atlanta and I asked him if he could check it all the way through to Anchorage. He apparently was fairly new and had to ask another agent if he could do it and how. The other agent asked if I was going through Seattle or Portland, I said Portland, and he printed out the luggage slips all the way from Managua to Anchorage. I really didn't want to have collect the luggage, clear customs and then have to take them up to the Alaska counter and recheck them. What was also really nice, as we were only checking two bags total there was no fee for the rocking chair. The last time I brought a rocking chair home there was an "over-size" fee added.

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I know that the Lord had His hand upon us in Atlanta. Of all the people coming in on our plane (and our plane was the only one arriving at that time) a baggage person with a cart came up and asked if she could help. Our tote was one of the last ones off the aircraft and then we went to the oversized carousel to get the rocking chair. She said that she would take care of getting them rechecked for us.

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We then proceeded through immigration and customs with absolutely no time delays or problems. No one along the way asked us for Charlie's documentation from Managua through Atlanta. I'm glad that we had it and didn't need it, rather than not having it and needing it. We arrived at the E Concourse and our departure was from the D Concourse. We went to the gate and then took Charlie outside to the dog park. By the time I returned Melody said that we were gone approximately 1 hour.

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I am really glad that we had about 4.5 hours between arrival and departure. We were able to do everything we needed to do without feeling rushed or stressed. Because of Charlie, we are able to pre-board and get settled for the trip home. Atlanta to Portland took a little over 5 hours due to headwinds, we had a 2.5 hour layover in Portland then a 3 hour 15 minute flight home to Anchorage. While Melody walked Charlie I waited for our luggage. Some oversized luggage was put out, our chair was not one of them. Finally, the tote came out on the luggage carousel and as I reached for it, I saw the chair being put out. I was also pleasantly surprised in that the tote had not been opened up by GSA for inspection. The had all been opened prior to our arrival in Managua.

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The hotel did not have a direct line at the Hotel Board in the luggage area so I called them on the phone and they sent the shuttle over. We checked in without any problems and by the time I went to bed at 2:30 am Melody and I had been up and in travel status for a total of 24 hours.

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Melody had a doctors appointment at 1 pm. We took a taxi over to the appointment which lasted almost an hour and then another taxi back to the hotel where we picked up our luggage and went back to the airport, had a quick bite to eat in the Upper 1 Lounge prior to our trip home at 4:30 pm. That 20 minute flight was roughest, though not bad of all the flights we were on. Melody's Mom and Dad picked us up and brought us home. After a few minutes of visiting with them, we went home and I collapsed.

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Now, Thursday morning the let down of the trip has started to settle down upon me as we try to get back into our routine. The differences between Nicaragua and Alaska is almost as start as the difference between night and day. It is not difficult to see how the Lord has truly blessed the United States and how the majority of Americans are disregarding or totally ignoring His blessings.

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Until the next time may the Lord's peace be upon you and thank you for your prayers and support.

Bill

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