3-3 Travel Travails
I think I need a special tag just for the near-disasters of traveling off of Pentecost. Here is the most recent.
We haven’t had cell service in about a week. The day before our flight, I’d asked Joseph –Marie to pick up Alexandra in Melsisi at 11:30, then come get me in Vansemakul and bring us to the airport for a 12:30 check-in. He agreed. None of that happened.
At 11:30, I magically got service. I had a voicemail from Alexandra via Hannah’s (the new Oxford volunteer in Melsisi) phone saying she wasn’t sure about the rivers flooding and maybe she’d try to walk to Vansemakul to start working on that problem. That was left at 9:30. It takes less than an hour to walk from Melsisi to Vansemakul and Alexandra wasn’t at my house. Curious.
I called Joseph-Marie and asked him where he was. Bwatnapni. About a 2 hour drive the opposite direction from me and the airport. He told me Alexandra told him not to come. WHAT?!? Jason went to go see about his about his papa’s boat while I called Hannah to get ahold to Alexandra. Hannah found Alexandra at the house in Melsisi and Jason found his papa. We agreed to go get her in Melsisi and told her to get down to the shore. It was a little past noon, for a 12:30 check-in. Stellar.
We start going down to the boat but someone calls Jason’s papa away. He says he’ll be right behind us and hands us the gasoline container. We get down to the boat and wait. And wait. And wait. And half an hour later, still no sign of him. It is now check-in time.
Alexandra called me and told me there was a boat leaving from Melsisi that she can get on. I asked her to come pick me up. She asked the driver, he said yes and we’re in business. I was watching for the boat and I don’t see movement coming from Melsisi. I’m nervous. We are LATE!
A truck stopped by the store where I was waiting. I asked the driver where they were going, they said the airport. I asked for a ride. He looked at me like I was crazy. He asked why I didn’t have a truck. I explained that my truck had decided to go to Bwatnapni, and Jason’s papa wasn’t showing up with the boat. At that moment, Jason’s papa shows up with the boat going the wrong direction.
The truck driver tells me to get in or I’ll miss the plane. I get in. I try to call Alexandra to tell her I have a ride down but it doesn’t work. We lost service again.
I get to the airport and am in the process of checking in when the plane lands. Alexandra isn’t there yet. I tell the agent that she is on her way and ask if it would be possible to ask the plane to wait. He says he’ll ask the captain.
Alexandra comes walking up with the guy who’s boat she got on about five minutes later. Luckily, we were still loading and unloading the cargo. They got checked in and we got on the flight. Awo, Pentecost!