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We’ve had two Nicaragua travel experiences recently, and we hope to begin a third within the next month. For more information and a better understanding of our motivation, explore this page.
After boarding the plane I realized why the weight limits had been changed. Instead of the usual 5 seats, the airline now had six, and when I sat down in my seat (that they had encouraged me to pay for in addition to the ticket I'd purchased), I realized I had no room to straighten out my legs! It seems like the seats had grown closer together, making me wonder if they had added another row of seats as well.
I won't say I'll never fly Spirit again, but I can assure you it will be a last resort!
We finally arrived in Nicaragua about 4:00 p.m. and managed to get through customs and have our rental car by about 5:30 p.m. If you wonder what took so much time, that was actually fast for how long it usually takes to get those things accomplished when traveling.
As soon as we cleared customs we met our national guide for the month, named Omar, and after getting our car headed for Jinotepe where we thought we'd be staying. But by 9:30 that night, we realized that wouldn't be possible either. (This is another story for later, maybe.) So we headed back to Managua an hour and a half away. After checking into a hotel for the night, we took Omar back to his home, so he wouldn't have to spend hours trying to get there via unreliable public transportation. (Please understand, public transportation is unreliable late at night only, during the day it just takes longer.)
We finally got showers and went to bed around 2:30 a.m. about 22 hours after we got up the day before.
We hope you enjoy this brief summary of our latest missionary travel experience.
Twenty-Two hours of no sleep! The fun of travel!...
We were up at 4:00 a.m. to pack and drive to Fort Lauderdale to catch our flight to Nicaragua.
We arrived by 8:30 a.m., a full three hours before the flight time as requested by the airline, only to have the flight delayed for a full hour due to "mechanical difficulties" just as we were preparing to board.
After changing gates and planes, we finally left over an hour behind schedule. This should not surprise me, since the last three times we've flown Spirit airlines we have had delays because of mechanical issues.
Another unpleasant surprise we discovered when we started packing was that the pounds we were able to carry in our luggage had been drastically reduced. We were allowed no free bags with the ticket purchase, nor was a carry-on allowed... They did allow 1 personal item such as a purse, briefcase, or "small backpack", but that was it. Additionally, we had to decide more than a week ahead of time how much luggage we planned to take, or we would pay much more to purchase the right to take it at the airport.
In all, Sherilyn figured we could take about sixty pounds less this trip then what we'd been accustomed to taking in the past. Had we chosen to take our normal amount, we would have paid more for our "discount" tickets than we would have paid for full fare tickets with another airline.
After considering our options, I left my briefcase, and Sherilyn packed her purse in her rolling computer bag. With the two computer bags, we managed to meet the weight requirements and save a little bit on the "discount" tickets. We didn't feel like the convenience was worth the extra $100 we would have paid in baggage fees.
Nicaragua Attractions are many and varied. Explore this page to discover those we've now had first hand experience with, why we found them attractive, and what we still plan to visit in the future.
Short term mission travel provides a dose of reality, if you have a glamorous view of mission work. Explore this page to understand the spiritual warfare involved, and why your prayer support matters.
Puerto Rican Mission Trips Have Played a Pivitol Role in our lives. For an overview of why, read this page.
Closure and exploration best describes our Spring 2012 mission trip. If you'd like to understand why read this page for all the details.