Greetings, fellow travelers-in-spirit! It’s been a long day for all of us—currently we’ve been traveling together for 12 hours—and it’s not over yet! I am happy to report that we have all made it safely to Mexico City and are awaiting our flight to Tuxtla Gutierrez Airport in Chiapas. After that, we have a bus ride through the mountains in the dark, and we should be at our hotel and preparing to sleep by 11:00 tonight.
We all arrived at the airport this morning without mishap—we were checked off Professor Chris’s list and given an envelope that contained all our dinner money for the trip. The most excitement I experienced before we boarded our (first) plane was that the ticket kiosk ate my boarding pass after it printed, so someone had to go find the keys to open the kiosk and then reprint my ticket. There were quite a few people going through security, but we made it to the gate with plenty of time to spare. Cheri even showed us her “travel-sized Baby Jesus” that she brought along, so what more could we need? Some of us napped, or read, or did crossword puzzles. Cecilia won the award for “Most Stylish Napper.”
As our plane landed in Phoenix, Professor Chris warned us that we were going to have to rush to our next gate, since our plane was landing in Phoenix right as our next flight was beginning to board. She told us not to worry about going as a group, to just get there as fast as we could—so that’s exactly what we did, in true free-for-all style. I had a wonderful visual of Mike (on the normal walkway) racing his daughter Cassia (on the moving walkway) down the concourse. While this may sound risky, please allow me to reassure you, they were both power-walking…and at one point, Mike was winning.
We all made it to the gate with a bit of time to use the restroom and grab a bite to eat, since there would be no food served on the plane to Mexico City. While we were boarding, a Mexican woman named Helena struck up a conversation with me: “Where are you going? Is this your first time to Mexico? Welcome! Oh, you will have so much fun! What part are you heading to? Oh, Chiapas! So many poor people there, yes, with almost nothing, but they are such happy people, and so friendly! Just remember, don’t drink the water, and don’t eat any salad, and you will have a good time.”
The flight to Mexico City was a full flight, and they ran out of space in the overhead luggage compartments. As a result, David was required to check his suitcase, since there was no room for it. Unfortunately, it wasn’t until after they’d taken the suitcase that he realized his passport was inside—and he wouldn’t be allowed to claim his luggage until he’d gotten through immigration, for which he needed his passport. Professor Chris was awesome (says David) and stayed with him while things got sorted out, speaking Spanish to help clear the way. The layover in Mexico City has been a lengthy one, with time to exchange our US dollars for pesos, buy some dinner, and relax at the gate for a while before boarding begins….
And this is where we leave you for the night, dear reader! We have an hour and a half flight ahead of us, with warnings that we should take Dramamine before getting on the bus, even if we never otherwise get motion sickness. And our adventures are only beginning! I’ve gotten some really great pictures, which I will include as soon as I am able. We look forward to reading your comments!