Plane 1 MN-LA
We arrived at Minneapolis Airport shortly after 9 in the morning. We loaded our 10, yes 10, suitcases onto a cart and our carry-ons onto our backs. We had zero free hands until Maggie smartly decided to strap Maisie’s car seat into the stroller and then strap Bailey into that. This contraption freed up one of my arms which allowed me to carry Maisie, if needed. Of course it was needed.
But, before that, we found out that three of our bags were over the 50lb limit. First I was wondering what we could move around, and then I was wondering what the fee would be for an overweight bag. Astonishingly, I didn’t get to either as the check-in agent slapped the tags on our bags and heaved them onto the belt behind her without mentioning the overweight bags or charging us for the five extra ones. Praise the Lord.
We headed to our gate hoping and praying seats would be available for the four of us flying stand-by. Minutes went by and boarding time drew closer as we sat and waited for our names to be called. It wasn’t long before I heard “Hastetter, send a representative to the counter please.”
The flight went smooth. We all were able to sit next to each other and the kids were well behaved. The only rough spot was the moment Maisie reached the step onto the plane. All morning she was thrilled to see planes and enamored with the idea of riding in one. When the time came to step onto the plane, she panicked. For a moment Maggie thought she was going to bolt. It didn’t take long for her to calm down and enjoy the flight, (zzzz. . .).
Right now we’re sitting in the LAX Airport with another 6 hours to go before we board our next plane to Sydney. Thanks for your prayers. Don’t stop!
Plane 2 LA – AUS
Cole and Maisie are fast asleep on the floor as people start boarding the plane bound for Sydney. We’re waiting for our names to be called from the stand-by list before we wake them. The plane is mostly boarded when Maggie hears a gate agent say, “All the stand-by passengers will get on.” She comes and tells me and I raise my fists over my head in celebration. We’re going to Sydney, praise the Lord.
The kids slept the first half of the 15 hour flight, and Maisie slept a good portion of the second half too. They each had their own touch screen with which to play games, watch movies, or watch cartoons. This entertained them for hours. We arrived in Sydney 7am Saturday and picked up our luggage and were shuttled to a hotel. We spent two days in the hotel trying to keep our sanity and the kids entertained. We all struggled with sleeping as night had become day and day had become night. Monday morning, October 3rd, we headed back to the airport to catch plane 3 to New Guinea.
Plane 3 AUS – PNG
“2,000 dollars!” I exclaim to the check-in agent.
“No,” he responds. “$2,400.”
We were double the weight limit for checked baggage and this is what we were going to have to pay to take all ten 50lb bags with us. I was speechless. I didn’t know what to say or do. Then, Maggie stepped in.
“Our travel agent said we get 100lbs per person,” she said. We took a closer look at our papers and found that Maggie was right. Our baggage all got checked through to our final destination and we didn’t have to pay a penny. We found our way through security and to our gate and then were bussed out to the plane. The trip from Sydney, Australia to Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea was 3 uneventful hours. The only thing I have to say about the flight was that I was served the finest meal I’d eaten since leaving home.
Plane 4 Port Moresby – Goroka
In Port Moresby we were met by some New Tribes Missionaries who helped us traverse the airport and welcomed us to PNG. We were so very tired and wanting to get to our new home and so the help was greatly appreciated. We had to walk outside the terminal to our plane and move most of the way to the back, all the way to row 5. Other than taking Maisie to the bathroom 3 times, Cole twice, and Micah once, the one hour flight went smoothly. We landed in the rain at our final destination Goroka, PNG.
The missionary in charge of our orientation met us there and loaded our bags into the back of a van while his PNG friend played with our kids. The kids were loaded with energy after sitting in planes and airports for most of the day. It was a ten minute drive out to the mission center and finally, our new home.
We’ll tell you all about our new home (with pictures) when we blog next. Expect it in the next few days.
Thank you for praying!