I have been writing a series of posts recently talking about our experiences the week we went to Guatemala in 2008 in bring home our daughter. You can can read the previous entries by clicking the links at the bottom of this post.
At the embassy we had been given a sealed envelope that could not be opened or tampered with in anyway. It had to be presented sealed to customs when we returned to the United States. It was after receiving this envelope and being told how immigration would work that I began worrying about our available time for getting through customs in Atlanta. I did some math, and we would be cutting it close. I called our attorney and she really couldn’t say anything to reassure me. I decided I had better find a way to change our tickets from Atlanta to Dayton.
I got online and found looked up the closest Delta office. There was one a mile or so away. I told Lyndie I would be back and set off on foot. I walked back down the side street we had taken to the restaurant a few days earlier and somehow managed to cross the twelve lanes of traffic on the city’s busiest boulevard. I walked by a couple streets of restaurants and one street later I had left the tourist zone and was in virgin territory. After walking interminably down a side street, by decrepit buildings sitting right next to brand new office buildings, I finally found the Delta office, unmarked except for a small sign in a corner of the glass front, and entered. An elderly gentleman opened the door, which seemed to be his only job.
I exhausted my Spanish in a brief salutory exchange with the desk attendant, and then explained our predicament. I told her we were leaving Friday and she cut me off and said “With your adopted daughter?” I said Yes, surprised, and she smiled warmly. She switched our tickets to give us an extra hour in Atlanta, and didn’t charge me for the switch, which could have been good deal of money. She was a wonderful human being.
Unfortunately my debit card was maxed out, which I should have figured out already since, you know, I run the debit card program at my bank. Whatever. I had her hold the tickets and took the long hike back to the hotel. Lyndie tied Yosi to her back with a baby wrap and I led her back to the Delta office. “How the heck did you find this place?” she said to me when we finally arrived. “By being awesome” I explained.
Tickets secured we decided to find a place to eat and sat down outdoors at the delightful
Ta’Contento. I only discovered later it was in the Lonely Planet guide book. I recommend it if you are ever in Guatemala City, which you probably won’t be. At one point during the meal a small boy, scrawny and dirty, came up to us trying to sell some cheap souvenirs. Lyndie gave him some food and he grabbed it and ran off. It didn’t even occur to me until she did that he was probably hungry. Who knows where his next meal came from.
Thursday was our last full day in the country, and we hired a taxi to take us to some museums. We walked through a completely uninspiring natural history museum and spent a good deal of time at the anthropology and archaeology museum. When we came back outside to return to the hotel our driver was asleep. We tried to wake him as gently as possible. We spent the rest of the day resting, and slept uneasily thinking about the long day ahead on Friday.
1 – Preparing to Travel
2 – The Longest Two Hours Ever
3 – Love and Terror
4 – So, Shall We Cry?
5 – A Peaceful Shore
6 – Fear in a Foreign Place
7 – Feeling Really Stupid but Too Tired to Care
8 – Venturing Forth a Confident and Effeminate Man
9 – Eduardo
10 – Embassy Day