Saturday, January 16, 2010

Take One:Dress Rehearsal

Today the team was supposed to fly from Cayes to the Bahamas.  It didn’t happen.

Opening Scene: Take One.

Some of the members from RMI’s sister church had made the original contact and so they were guaranteed the first 9 seats.  RMI put the word out and opened it up to other teams in the area who had people needing to fly out; all of them aware that it was only a possibility and not a guarantee that the plane would be able to land and it if did, there was even less of a guarantee that they would have a seat.  But everyone was hopeful.  A crowd of probably 65 people, some waiting to fly, some waiting with those waiting to fly, sat anxiously awaiting the arrival of the plane.  Around 3pm or so, a small plane came over the horizon.  It wasn’t our plane. It turned out to be a relief plane delivering tents.  They had only 5 seats, including the co-pilot’s seat.  And the pilot said he wasn’t cleared to take passengers so he couldn’t return to the states with passengers on board.  He would, though, be able to fly them to the British Isles of Turks and Caicos and they could take an international flight home from there.  There happened to be two couples and a single person waiting, who were able to take that flight. It was a long afternoon at the airport.  People speculated, milled, and chatted.  Some travelers slept.  Kids played in the yard in front of the airport.   Anticipation ran high.  At 5:30, a decision was made for everyone to return home.  The runway had to be shut down at dusk because it isn’t equipped with runway lights.  On the way home, Gary, Marilyn and I made emergency dinner plans.  And then Gary and one of the team members went to Gary’s house to use to phone to try and figure out what happened.   The plane was stalled in Cap Haitien, an International Airport north of Port au Prince.  They couldn’t get clearance to fly because of bad weather. 

We are going to try it all over again tomorrow.  The plane is scheduled to land in Cayes at 11am.

End Scene.

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