Thursday, October 27, 2011

It Begins

I am standing in the Austin airport, waiting for the culmination of five months preparation to begin. I am elated, scared to death and three hours early, as usual. My OCD is at warp speed, hyper overdrive and Omar is cutting it close again. We are about to embark upon an escapade to verify whether Ecuador meets with our expectation.

We have a three legged trip that takes us to DFW, then Miami and will arrive in Guayaquil late this evening, if all goes as planned. I am afraid that my back brace will not do its thing, that I may have under estimated my medical needs and the journey may take a great deal out of me before we have all wheels on the ground. Will the windows provided offer ample enough time to make all connections?

First leg went down without any issues. In DFW I notice a young man and a older individual in "Dominican" workout suits. The older man turns out to be an Olympic coach for the young athlete that just finished competing in the pentathlon event in Denver Colorado and carries a countries dreams on his shoulders at only nineteen years old. He probably still has another five or six Olympics he can compete in. Pentathlon athletes reach their prime in their early 30's.

The coach knew Jose Alou from West Palm Beach, who blew his knee out and had to turn to Budweiser for a career. His father Felipe is a well known professional player along with the other two brothers, Matty and Jesus. Felipe is now a well known manager/broadcaster. We talked baseball the entire leg.                         

In Miami we had a time change and we were exposed to several airline agents who did not really have command of the English language. It was odd since we were still in the good old US of A. Boarded and set next to a young Ecuadorian who spoke no English and had no interest talking with a Gringo.

Omar on the other hand met an acquaintance from Victoria Texas prior to loading on our flight who in turn introduced us to individual down the road in Salinas, that would prove beneficial. Our arrival at Guayaquil was timely and their processes were extremely easy. Going through customs took all of 10 minutes and only Omar had his bags checked. Mine were loaded on a belt for X-Ray, by Ecuadorians who were more than cooperative.

The airport was warm and muggy, but not impossible and after clearing customs there was a receiving line for all arriving passengers that rivaled prince William's line after his marriage to Kate Middleton. Some passengers would have 15 to 20 family members there to greet them. etc. It was quite a display of "family values". Something I think we are missing these days.

Omar and I got to the hotel and ate something and then to bed. We were completely worn out (Or at least I was).

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