Tuesday, July 26, 2011

by Darlene Skarda
I’m supposed to be home but yesterday didn’t end quite as I had hoped – sleeping at home in my own bed!  We had a nice flight from Amsterdam to Detroit, customs was fine.  Immigration threw away an apple I had left in my carry-on bag from our 2 day stay in Amsterdam 2 weeks ago and then it was downhill!  I arrived at Gate A 20 for 3:58 pm flight to Phoenix – looking forward to the last leg of my trip.  The sign at gate indicated that the flight was delayed, coming from Seattle, and we would leave at 5:20 pm – 1 1/3 hours late but not bad still getting us into Phoenix about 6:45 pm.

About 4:30 pm they announced that our plane was on the ground, they would deplane and clean it and we would be off – maybe even before 5:20.  About 5:00 they announced that our plane had been struck by lightning coming from Seattle and they would need 4 hours to check it out or find another plane.  About 5:15 they announced that the flight was cancelled and we should all go to Gate A43 to get re-routed.  It was a mad scramble to Gate 43.  We waited in line about 2 hours – standing the whole time as there was no place to sit. I was rerouted at 8:30 am Tuesday morning to Salt Lake City and then transfer to Phoenix and should be home at noon.  They gave us hotel vouchers for Best Western Gateway Inn in Romulus, MI and there was a shuttle to/from there and $6.00 vouchers for dinner and breakfast.

The hotel is decent – has a nice pool but I only have my carry-on luggage and very bare essentials.  Delta did give us “survival” kits so at least I could air out the clothes I now had on for almost 2 days and had a T-shirt for pj’s.  I went to the airport early and was amazed that the hotel shuttle was totally full with  people standing for the  trip.  The good news was that they assigned me seat 1A so I had breakfast in First Class on that flight.  We got to Salt Lake City in plenty of time for the flight to Phoenix and the gate was right next door.  That flight was supposed to leave at 11:20 am and get to Phoenix at noon.  About 11:15 am they announced that a light had come on in the plane and they needed to check it out and we would leave at 1:00 pm.   I thought here we go again!  I went and had lunch and came back at to see that the 1:00 pm departure had been changed to 5:00 pm.  I did not want to spend the night in Salt Lake City.  I talked to the agent at the gate and told her I saw there was a 1:55 flight  to Phoenix and could I get on that.  She did get me on that so I finally got home to Phoenix about 2:30 pm and amazingly my luggage beat me to the airport and they were happy to get it out as it was taking up a lot  of space with two 50 lb. duffle bags.  One bag belonged to Hope4Kids and was full of a lot of other  duffle bags that are used to take the  dresses to Uganda.

One final note:  My daughter Amy was not feeling too good the last few days in Uganda – figured she had contracted some “African revenge”.  I gave here Imodium and that helped but she still said her stomach hurt.  When she showed me where I told her it might be a gall bladder problem.  She went on Tuesday and had an ultrasound and sure enough it was.  She had surgery yesterday (Thursday, July 28).  It was outpatient surgery but still serious.  We were all just so very, very thankful that it didn’t come on her the first week of the trip and that she could get home to get help.  God is good!!!-

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Hope 4 Kids International is 501c3 faith-based non-profit committed to help children around the world that are suffering from extreme poverty through Dignity, Health, Joy & Love.

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