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Day of travel - Trip to Davao

***Before I forget... if you want to see the pictures bigger, 
double click on one and it will take you to a bigger slideshow type display


Monday was a travel day for us. We needed to travel to Davao City which is part of Mindanao, the southern island of the Philippines. This is where Little C lives, so in a couple days we will finally get to see his precious face and bring him home with us!

View from 16th floor of the New World Makati Hotel
Our travel day should have been a relaxing day, and it started that way. We enjoyed a nice relaxing breakfast at the Greenbuilt Mall which was directly across the street from us. We ate at "Seattle's Best Coffee", which doesn't sound at all like a cultural excursion, I understand! However, our breakfast did have some differences, such as the sausage links actually being mini hot dogs, or how we were expected to put our jam on the french toast instead of syrup. We ate outside among palm trees and watched the local workers clean for the day. One man was sweeping the patio with a large straw broom - no leaf blower/sucker for him. The other man was in his swimming trunks wading in the decorative pond. He was fishing out all of the leaves that had fallen in the day before - assuming finding this type of "job" in America would be quite hard to come by - at least one that required to walk around in your swim trunks.


We came back to the hotel and took a dip in the pool. Well, I must change that statement, the boys took a dip in the pool. The water was too cool for me so I relaxed instead poolside in the little couch hut thing, where it was warm and cozy.



We then went up to our room to clean up for the day and get ready for our domestic 1.5 hour flight to Davao. Here is where things became extremely frustrating. If you are reading this blog more so to see pictures, skip to the next paragraph!!! If you are reading this blog and will be traveling to the Philippines for an adoption soon, you may want to read on and save yourself a headache! We had been told by another adoptive parent (that is preparing to hopefully leave within the next couple weeks!) that her agency had told them to pack lightly because they were very strict on the domestic flight. I had asked my agent about this and she said she didn't think we needed to worry. So, I tried to take her advice, although I was unsettled when I looked it up and saw 20 kilos, meaning about 40 pounds. Since I had looked that up, we tried to keep our luggage ruffly around that number, instead of the 50 we were allotted by Delta on our international flight. Now comes our day to fly and I have this nagging feeling that something is not at all right. I wanted to double check if it is 40 or 44 lbs and in the process we realized that passengers would have paid for different ticket plans that did or didn't allow luggage weight. We had no idea which plan we were on, and realized even if we were on the 20 kilo plan, that was NOT going to cover the multiple bags of luggage we had. We packed extra suitcases full of donations and we had Little C's clothes along too. Jon finally decided to call and found out A. we were on the NO LUGGAGE AT ALL plan. B. after doing the math, it would cost us well over $600 to bring the luggage on the plane, and C. once all of this had finally hit home we had approximately three minutes until our "time was up" to buy the heavy load pass which allowed for 45 kilos, or 100 lbs per traveler. All A, B, & C added up equaled complete panic. I was so happy Jon was on the phone because I would have been most likely sobbing on the phone during the whole thing. Although, I wasn't as thankful to him at that time as I should have been, the stress definitely took a toll on us both. Thank heavens for our wonderful Caleb who stayed quite, calm, and even came and gave me a hug during the three hour event. Jon gave our credit card info and had to wait for them to call back to say if our credit card had processed in time for us to buy the heavy load plan, so in the 15 minutes while waiting we started unpacking and re-packing anything that wasn't necessary for the Davao leg of the trip in case we needed to drop it off at the hotel we will return to end of the week. Stressful. We finally get the call. Yes we are on the heavy load list! We've saved over $500! And now we realize we should weigh everything - our room even had a scale which was such a blessing! We realized we would only be a couple kilos over which would cost about $20 bucks. So with a minute left until check out time, we decided to take everything with us. Mind you, by this time it was 2 pm and we hadn't had lunch. Seriously, our son was a saint this morning. God bless the kid!

We finally got ALL 12 BAGS downstairs as our bellboys looked at us with huge eyes! LOL! We ran to the mall to grab some quick lunch then back to the hotel where we tried to get a taxi, but the taxis refused to take us with so much luggage. Ugh. So we ended up using the costly hotel transportation that was a van. Was not excited about the cost, but at least we were finally on our way to the airport. Such a sense of relief. Here were some of the scenes we captured along the way...






Checked in our luggage with the help of baggage porters - that we didn't even realize was a thing and we'd be paying them more than just a tip - once again, ugh. They actually helped us figure out that we could take one of our smaller suitcases on the plane along with our bags, since they are very strict about the carry-on bags. Because of this they actually saved us the extra kilo charge, so we came out ahead really because they were helping us with the bags. So in the end, thank you to these random men who started taking care of our bags without us asking. We got to our gate right at loading time to find out we were delayed about an hour, bummer, but because of the delay, our flight was rerouted to an entrance we had to get to by shuttle. The shuttle drove us out to the plane and we got to walk up stairs inside. It was our first time doing something like this and was a lot of fun to see the plane so close!






View of Manila from the airplane
I slept during most of this flight and Jon napped too, Caleb however played a game on the bumpy flight and it sounds like he had a little motion sickness by the end and wasn't feeling well. We met the Executive director Cris and President of the orphanage Pastor Ken at the airport. It was such a relief to finally see their faces after a long day!!! They took us to the hotel by their car and a taxi since we had too many bags. Caleb promptly fell asleep in the car without supper. This morning he told me he didn't remember coming to the hotel or anything that followed. Jon and I carried him to supper where he slept in the booth. It was a nice supper with fresh squeezed juice. I had pineapple and Jon had calamansi which is that little green type lime on the rim of the glass. It tastes more like a lemon than a lime and the juice came to Jon with no sugar. It was quite tart but still had a refreshing taste unlike straight lemon or lime juice would have. I had gotten chicken that ended up just being fried chicken and fries, they had made it sound much more interesting on the menu! Jon however got this really great beef dish. It reminded me of a chinese beef dish we make that has brown sugar, garlic, and onion. It was a good relaxing meal to finally end the day.



We thought things were finally looking up until we brought Caleb back to the room and tried to get him to use the restroom before going to bed. Big mistake. He "woke up" but was obviously not awake. He was scared to use the toilet and we couldn't get out of him why. At one point I told him the water was safe and he said "then I'm worried". I told him, no you shouldn't be worried because it is safe, and he said "No, I'm worried about you!!! You think we can drink this!?!?" He must have tied our safe water conversations about drinking water to what was happening at the moment. I started chuckling actually even though everything else was so tense. He was really upset and yelling, which was upsetting for us as it was after 10pm in a hotel. Finally he told me he couldn't go potty into a pool. At which point I prayed he wouldn't have an accident and laid him in bed, where he promptly fell asleep.

He doesn't remember a blessed second of that agonizing 10 minutes. 

I guess we were in for something after the perfect child he was earlier in the day! Ha!

No accident by the way.  :)

My husband said I should have gotten this out this morning so I could warn everyone (since you're 14 hours behind us) that this would be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. Sleep in and skip it! Hopefully we didn't jinx your days and you had a great day! Wish ours had been better, but sometimes that is life. Now that the day is past it still bring back memories of anxiety, but I can also remember some very nice moments from the day, and the pictures above are great proof of those nice moments. Not to mention, after writing this blog, I realized there was a blessing in disguise after almost every frustrating moment from the day. God really was looking out for us. 

So good news is, my next blog post is full of AMAZING amazing amazing things!! We had such a fantastic day today! But that post I'm afraid will have to wait until tomorrow! We have a little extra time in the morning I believe, so hopefully I can get things uploaded. Good news is this hotel has MUCH better wireless so uploading is more of a reality now.  :)

It's 11:00 pm in Davao and 9:00 am in Rice Lake. Good morning to you! Hope you have a wonderful, terrific, very good, excellent day like we had this Tuesday!

In Christ,
Mara







Comments

  1. You all are amazing!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow! I just had to write and say I'm loving the updates! What an adventure!! I can't believe you're so close to seeing your little boy!!! Thinking of all of you....

    ReplyDelete
  3. First off - God is good - you made the flight, you got 12 bags to Davao on a Domestic Flight - that in itself is a miracle, your son was patient through most of his waking hours, and someone was at the airport in Davao to take you to your hotel....how awesome is that for traveling in a completely foreign country - FAITH......you got it sister......:)

    ReplyDelete

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