After about 18 hours of travel, we rolled into the church parking lot-to be greeted by a Welcome Home sign! That was soooo nice!
Our hats are off to Doug Johnson and En Soo Park for driving to Seattle twice to drop us off and pick us up at the airport. En Soo had quite the journey going to pick us up. The Korean Community Center van broke down before he got out of Portland. He called AAA and they towed the van to the repair shop. Then En Soo got on the phone and started calling car rental companies to find a 15 passenger van - not an easy feat during Spring Break. He finally found one at Enterprise and made his way up. He then spent an hour waiting for us at the wrong baggage claim area because our plane had been re-routed to the opposite side of the airport due to some runway problems. We got loaded up and took off. I don't know how he managed to keep awake and keep us all safe thru the dark pouring rain as we all fell asleep. I did hear a huge sigh of relief out of him when we crossed the border into Portland. :)
We all got up at 6 am, grabbed some coffee and yummy muffins that Kathy had made. (yes, we finally got a working oven by Friday). We made it straight to the airport without circling the Superdome! Sean and Roxanne dropped off the group and then met Kathy and I at the car rental area and we returned all the vehicles. We got back to the airport to find out that there were problems getting our boarding passes printed. We all got in line at the ticket counter and discovered that since the first leg of our journey home was on American, we had to pay $15 for each checked bag - something we didn't have to do on the way out because we had been on Alaska Air. Then there was the problem of the checked bags only going as far as Chicago. So the agent had to go into each of the 13 tickets and override the system to get the bags to go to Seattle. Then each bag was individually charged on the credit card. They were also unable to print boarding passes for our second flight and said we would have to go back to the ticket counter in Chicago to get our passes. All in all, about an hour for this fun process! Fortunately we were able to print our boarding passes in Chicago right at the gate and didn't have to go thru security again.
Kathy, Allison and I sat in the same row on the way home and we were definitely the "fun row"! Well, at least we thought we were, we don't know about the rest of the plane... Allison was bored so we kept ourselves entertained for the 4 hour flight that was actually almost 5.
The week went by so fast! We are all exhausted but it is a happy exhaustion. You know how these mission trips go: you think you are doing something great for someone else but you end up being the one most blessed. We can't wait to share our stories, pictures and pig lips with you! (yes! they made it home in my suitcase) We couldn't have done it without the support of all of you and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts!
Now...for the next trip....