Mission Trip!!! (Part 5)

The story continued from yesterday:
 We were scheduled to leave the house at 5am- Craig would drive us to Belmopan, and we would go the rest of the way in public transportation. I reminded everyone that night that the adventure wasn't over yet- but I had no idea just how true those words would prove to be...

We ended up leaving the Fritzler's home just a couple minutes before 5:00, and we were at the bus station in Belmopan about 15 minutes later.  The first bus to Belize City was scheduled to leave at 6am, but we were pleasantly surprised when it showed up before 5:30am.  It is a blessing to be on the bus that early...it was still pretty cool, since the sun wasn't out in full force yet.  The bus trip to Belize City only took about an hour, but as the bus accumulated passengers and became packed, we were all thinking how grateful we were that we spent the extra money on a taxi on our way to Belize the week before.  I cannot even imagine how horrible that bus trip would've been at noon, with the sun beating down, the bus so full there was only standing room, and all the kids crying because they were so tired.  Outrageous price for the taxi or not, it was DEFINITELY worth it!

At 7:00am we left Belize City on a bus for the border, and that ended up being a very interesting 4-hour trip.  It was getting hotter, the bus was crowding...and we were all thirsty.  However, there were no bathrooms on that particular bus, and neither were there opportunities to stop and use a bathroom.  So we were all trying not to drink too much, which was especially a challenge for the kids.  Somewhere around 2 1/2 hours into the trip, the bus broke down (I think it was over-heating), so we had to change buses as fast as possible.  That was a little crazy, considering we had to switch all our luggage to the new bus as well.  We all lost our relatively comfortable seats, and had to do some shuffling, and the kids were beginning to get very anxious.  We kept telling them that we would arrive in Chetumal soon, although arriving in Chetumal turned into it's own adventure.

We arrived at the Belize Immigration building where all the adults had to pay an exit fee before leaving the country (in Belize, they charge you as you leave as opposed to when you arrive in the country).  We all paid, and went to the next counter together as a team so they could stamp our passports and be on our way.  However, something happened that we hadn't counted on- the Immigration officers discovered that they had neglected to stamp Noe's and Aislynn's passports when we had ENTERED Belize the week before.  They accused Noe and Aislynn of being in Belize illegally, and detained us while the rest of the team was allowed to go.  Many thoughts ran through my head as they took us from one office to another- I was wondering what would happen to us if they threw us in jail, and what would happen to the team seeing as I had all the money to return home, and I was the only one who had the hotel and flight information.  We explained to the officials that we had all entered the country at the same time on the same day, and we had presented all of our passports at the same time.  I told the lady that they had run all the passports through their computer system...but she yelled at me and said I was lying.  We could only pray- and finally they decided that maybe they should check the computer to see if what we were saying was true.  Surprise, surprise, the computer didn't lie...and they allowed us to leave the country!  We were relieved, to say the least...but there was another problem...

Since we had taken so long in Immigration, the bus was no longer outside waiting for us, and our team was gone as well.  We were planning on changing all our Belizean money back to Mexcian pesos right there, but when we realized the bus had already left us behind, there was no time to lose.  Noe was carrying Aislynn and Matthias, and I had the backpack and I was holding Uriah's and Keyli's hands.  We began walking as fast as possible to the Mexico-side of the border, hoping we would find our luggage and our team at the other side.  It was a good walk, and it was hot, so all the kids started crying.  When we finally made it to Mexican Immigration, they told us to go through the short line.  When we got up to the counter, the man saw that everyone was Mexican except for me, and he said we would have to go through the line for foreigners together.  So, we had to go to the back of the long line and wait.  When we finally got through the line and out of the Immigration building, we were very happy to find our team and all of our luggage on the side of the road.  The bus had left us all behind...but we were back in Mexico.  We weren't going to let a little setback get us down!

We caught another bus and then a taxi to the Chetumal bus station, and there we had a half an hour to eat before boarding the air conditioned bus that would take us to Cancun.  Finally, a bus with air conditioning and a bathroom!  The airconditioning felt heavenly, and the bathroom meant we could finally start to drink- unfortunately it was a little too late for me.  I have been battling kidney stones over the last few months, and everytime I don't drink as much water as I should, I deal with another stone.  I was praying harder than ever, and I started drinking as much water as possible.  When we got to Cancun I was feeling nauseous from the pain, and I could hardly walk, but God gave me the strength I needed.  I was able to lead our team to yet another bus which took us to within a half a block to our hotel.  We were definitely ready to rest, but I was a little worried.  I was feeling so awful...

1 comment:

  1. OH...don't leave me hanging there! That's mean! What happened next?