Traveling Woes

Its been a busy week here in Panama. I’ve been working with my family to help them set up their computer network. I finally have some free time, so I thought I would write about what had to be one of the worst traveling experiences in my 10 years of going to Central America.

It all started last Friday morning at 4am in Boston. That’s when I had to get up for my 6am flight. I’m not a big fan of early flights, but it helps in case you miss a connection or something. Anyway, I arrived in North Carolina around 8:30. On my way to my next flight I passed one of the monitors only to see that my flight was canceled.

Canceled? I’ve never had a canceled flight before. Epically ON THE DAY OF THE FLIGHT. When I get to the “would be” gate no one is there. I guess I was supposed to know what to do on my own. I found an agent at another gate and she told me to go to the service desk.

The service desk was moving very slowly…of course. Thankfully when it was my turn the agent tells me they are putting me on a 7pm flight out of Miami. I thought, “This isn’t too bad. At least I will be there tonight.”

I arrived in Miami around 2:30 in the afternoon. I signed up to use the internet and settled in for a 5 hour wait before my next flight. As 7 drew closer they made an announcement that there was something wrong with my plane and that we could not take it. Perfect. However, they did have another plane and they assured us it would only be a 45 minute delay.

We finally start boarding the plane AT 7:45. Around 8:10 we were all on and just sitting there. The captain informed us that we are waiting for catering. This turns into another 20 minute wait. Then it starts to rain and they close down a runway. We finally get out of there around 9.

Oh, and the catering we were waiting all that time for, is just drinks. They didn’t even feed us.

Once we landed I got out only to find an hour and half line for customs in front of me. Luckily they didn’t lose my bags, and my sister was there waiting for me.

We finally got home around 2am my time. By this time I had been up for 22 hours.

I think the only good part of the day was the car ride to my sister’s house. My niece and I were sitting in the back seat falling asleep on each other. I had this feeling like: This is the reason I put up with all the headaches of traveling. To be here in this car with my family. Somehow, in that moment, it all seemed worth it.

Off to Central America

I’ve been running around all day getting ready for my trip to Costa Rica and Panama. I leave tomorrow morning bright and early. This is going to be a business trip of sorts.

I’m working on a project with my family in Panama. My father Luis has an embroidery business that he has been running in Panama for almost 20 years now. (After he left the revolution in the mid 80s he moved to Panama to rebuild his life. I may add a post about this part of the story.)

I’m working to help them create an order tracking system. I would like this to be a pilot for a bigger project of creating an open-sourced business resource for Central America. I’ll probably put a post up about that when I have a better idea what it is going to be all about.

In the mean time I am planning to do some more video interviews with various family members. Keep an eye out for those sometime next week!

Update from Panama

Its been a busy past few weeks. I was in Disney for a week with some family and then I went to Minnesota to see my younger brother’s graduation. I was home for two days then I left for CR.

I arrived in Costa Rica last week and spent a few days with my older sister. She had not started her new job yet so we had time to hang out. We were pretty lazy just watching movies and catching up.

I can’t believe her daughter Danny is almost nine. Time really flies. When we first met Eva told everyone that she was pregnant. Its been a lot of fun to watch Danny and every one else grow up over the years.

Monday the 21st I left for Panama.The trip to panama was a little interesting because I missed the morning bus. There is a new bus station since I had been here last and the Taxi driver went to the wrong place. By the time we figured out where the correct place was the bus had already left. The driver was really nice though. We chased after the buss and wait by the side of the road for 30 min hoping we hadn’t missed it. We finally gave up and he took me back to the station to see if there was a later buss.

The taxi driver was nice enough not to charge me for all the time we spent looking for the buss. Lucky there was another bus at 11 so I exchanged my ticket for that one. This bus did not go all the way to David panama where my family lives so my father and sister met me at the board to seek me into the country. 🙂

The next day was my birthday which our family celebrated by getting me a big cake with a picture of a doll that looks just like me. I spent most of the day watching season 2 of house with my little sister.

The last time I was here was a year ago and its amazing to see how much everything has changed in that time. My little sister isn’t so little anymore. She is 15 and in 11th grade. Soon she will be off to college.

The city of David is also getting bigger. They are building new raod and new housing compolexes. About 6th months ago they moved into a new house. Its really nice and not too far away from there old house.

I really enjoy my time here even if its doing nothing and watching lots of episodes of House. I’ll be here for a couple of more day then its back to Costa Rica.

I was able to do a little video interview with my sister about our blog. Hopefully I’ll have that up soon . I’m also planning on interviewing other family members about there experiences.

Well thats it for now. I’m here for 10 more days then back to the US.

Going on Vacation

I’m going to be on vacation and traveling for the next month so I won’t be able to post as much as I have been. However I will be posting on a few key dates that relate to our story. I’m also going to try and do some video interviews with family members. Keep an eye out for those.