Dianne is quite a trip planner and I was impressed by her abilities to use the Internet to completely plan a trip to a place I considered completely incomprehensible. There was ONE little glitch in arriving at the Amazon, though...
We stayed the night in Bogota. I slowly pushed 2, then 1, 1, 1, until reaching the correct number to call a taxi. We arrived at the airport, joined the relatively short LAN lines... and were told our reservation to fly to Leticia did not exist. WHAT? HOW? I couldn’t be angry with the sweet little clerk, but she was lost. We changed lines and approached the LAN office. After some discussion, we were informed our reservation had been canceled.
Cheap-O-Air might have lost some customers. We resorted, as all good Americans in this day and age, to the Internet. Ethan began polling the bank accounts. Tyrel was assigned to look up a website. I tried to get online to see what kind of fortune we’d have to spend on tickets now. Dianne pulled out all her trip reservation papers. We read. We reread. We looked. Finally, hidden amongst all the small print one finds when receiving an email confirmation of a ticket purchase... well below the list of passport numbers, flight numbers, prices, and links for seat assignments, we saw it - “unable to confirm reservation.”
Moral of the story:
Read the fine print.
On to plan B. I have little patience with Internet and none whatsoever when it is slow. I returned to the LAN office line, asking if reservations were available and what they would cost. Imagine my delight when the total for all 4, on our same flight schedule, was $100 LESS than what we’d originally thought we paid online. Problem solved, God is good, we made it through security and to the terminal with time to spare.
That bit of time, however, was actually quite a nice little coincidence. Upon sitting to wait, Tyrel was immediately engaged in conversation by an English-speaking Colombian also on his way to Leticia. As it turned out, he was a pastor, the leader of the YWAM base in Leticia whose outreaches targeted the indigenous peoples up the river. His stories of praying for God to transform were great... My favorite followed his explanation of ma-te, a drink made from the coca plant which, apparently, in these communities, is intoxicating (though that is not true of all “ma-te”). Some of the Christians came to him and said “Pastor, you must do something. Our local leader is getting drunk on ma-te before he preaches. He preaches real good, but we do not like him to be drunk.” Anyway, as any YWAMmer knows, YWAM is a small world; once I’d mentioned working with YWAM at one point, we were invited to come to the base while in Leticia.
|A view from the plane. Notice there are no roads - only rivers.|
The adventure was about to begin.
|Where in the world is Tyrel Fuchs?|