Day One and Whatever Else I Remember

The travel began for me a day earlier than the rest.  I flew into Nashville and was greeted with two of my favorite faces, Holly and Julie.  Of course we were too busy gabbing that none of us thought to capture the moment with a photo.  We shared a meal, talked some more, and then talked some more.  And then it was home to the Adams' abode where I caught up with the girls and taught them a lesson in card games.  Reilly and Caroline wanted to play "Speed", a game I grew up playing but I had forgotten.  So fun.  We laughed at our competitive nature and shared hugs and were off to bed for an early morning that awaited us.  Kevin was kind enough to be our shuttle to the airport at a mere 4am.  Did I mention he had hot coffee waiting for me?  Now that's friendship. 

We met the rest of the group and checked in.  Fourteen woman leaving behind loved ones and schedules and work and all other roles and taking just as many pieces of luggage, the actual kind.  Once done we made our way fast and furious to the only medication for an early morning of that nature, caffeine.  Amen.  Here is a group photo we had a stranger take of all of us while waiting to board. 

This morning was my first time meeting a majority of these ladies and I must say I fell head over heels for them.  Spunky, endearing, genuine and let me just say REAL. 

We had a short flight to Miamie, time to catch lunch and then our flight to Tegucigapa, Honduras.  Side note here, someone, not to mention names, Wendy, forgot to let Holly and I in on the famousness of the airport we were flying into.  Hello, heart quickening, white knuckled landing.  It is noted as one of the most dangerous airports to fly into.  The landing strip is the shortest I've seen and dead ends into buildings.  To be able to stop the plane the pilot must bank around a mountain and come in basically on top of the buildings below.  This might be a slight exaggeration but if you're interested take a look at some videos on YouTube for landings at Tegucigapa.  Interesting.  Needless to say, I watched every second of it out the window and it was amazing.  What skill the pilot had.  After a few shouted praises and prayers by our fellow travelers we were picked up and met the staff and drivers for our next leg of the journey, a three hour drive to the ranch.  The route we traveled was on the Pan American highway, another noteable risky stretch of road.  Similar to Turkey, the traffic lines, posted speed limits and general rules are optional.  Here was our first encounter with a cattle crossing on the main road.

Windy roads flanked by vast jungle and valleys brought us to the ranch where dinner was waiting and so were our cabins.  First impression of the site, amazing.  The land stretched, trees covered the ditches so that I couldn't tell just how far or wide the valley was, running streams and then bathrooms!  Amen.  Three hours on the road and I can't tell you how I needed to use the facilities.  Sorry, just bein real here.  To spare you the rest of the details of the evening just imagine fourteen women, unpacking, making beds, hanging mosquito nets and couple that with nervous energy and anxiousness for what the next day has in store and all the unknowns.

Debriefing and instructions at circle time the first night, preparing for the next day

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