To read in order scroll down and begin with Day 1 on May 24, 2011
Day 10 - Thursday
The bright sun helped me awaken this morning and we began to get around, dressed and packed for the journey home. We had some wonderful Costa Rican coffee and some fresh slices of mango. We visited a bit around the kitchen bar and then loaded our stuff in the rented van.
Brother Schwarz had already made two trips to the airport before I got up. Roy Fisher and his group of five from the Western District had to be at the airport about 4:30 AM. They were the early risers (I think some of them didn’t even go to bed)!
About the time Brother Schwarz got back, it was time to take the Florida group to check in for their flight to home. Adrian was in Florida for her sister’s graduation before the trip so she booked a round trip from Florida. She planned to get on her return flight from Florida to Phoenix shortly after her arrival in Orlando. Unfortunately, the second leg of their flight was canceled or something so they were stuck for awhile in Panama.
The final group from Phoenix left the Bekuo hostel about 9:00 for the airport so we were there in plenty of time and check in was a breeze. We told the Schwarz goodbye from the curb and began the homeward journey.
In Costa Rica there is an exit visa (a tax of $26) so I gathered up our passports and paid the fee with a state agent. We then checked our bags and proceeded through security. Near gate 4 there were some eating places and a Britt coffee gift shop. Gayla and I shared a Burger King chicken crisp sandwich that was 9.00 US! We skipped the 5.00 fries 🙂
The flight was on schedule and we took off for Houston with a smooth ride. The three and a half hour flight was broken up with food service on the international leg of this itinerary. We had a choice of ham & cheese or roast beef sandwich. It came with a little macaroni salad and a piece of cake. It was actually pretty good considering it was airplane food (maybe I was just hungry)!
We had an hour and a half in Houston which seemed like plenty of time to walk around and find a Starbucks or something, but by the time we cleared passport entry, collected our bags, went through customs, recheck bags, and were rescreened through security, the flight for Denver was already boarding. We got on and settled in for the hour and 52 minute flight to Denver International airport.
In Denver we went to the restroom, got some prepared (slightly crusty from sitting in the warmer) pizza from the airport Pizza Hut, and went to our gate area to eat our snack/dinner. By the time we finished off our mini pizza the flight was boarding for Phoenix. This last flight (less than two hours) seemed to be the longest. After a very long ten days, six church services, our community service projects, touring the sites, and unfamiliar beds in hostels I was past ready to be home. I was tired and cranky by the time we got to Phoenix. (Hope it didn’t show!)
We actually arrived about fifteen minutes early at Terminal 2, Sky Harbor airport. We made our way to baggage claim and retrieved our luggage without incident. We only waited about 5 minutes at the curb. Pastor and Sis. Martinez picked up their daughters and Gayla and I at the airport and we made the 30 minute trip home.
Home at last. It was about 11:30 PM Arizona time, and an hour later in Costa Rica. What an amazing trip. No one lost luggage, had anything stolen, got sick, or lost in the woods. We were thanking God for a successful trip and a safe return.