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Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Long Way To Cuenca, Ecuador


Our previous two trips to Cuenca, Ecuador were fairly easy. We caught a plane in Asheville to Atlanta waited there a couple of hours and then took a flight to Quito. Because most US flights get to Quito too late to make connections to Cuenca, we simply stayed over in Quito till the next day. Overall a painless trip. However planning a trip of this nature with our dog, Star, was not that easy.

As soon as we started planning the move I started researching all that we needed to do to take Star with us. Early in the process we learned that we couldn't take the Atlanta route because Delta doesn't accept pets in cargo between May 15th and September 15th. We also found out that Continental is the very best airline for pet travel no matter the time of the year. Continental has the ability to keep dogs in climate controlled environments thus providing safe conditions for pets to travel. So Continental was it. This meant that we had to drive to Houston if Star was to have only one flight (Houston to Quito).

For two months I checked every two days with Continental to make sure that Star could get in the flight that we had chosen on the 13th of June. Every time I spoke with a different person, every time I got the same response: 'The Flight looks good; you should have no problems getting her in that flight." You see, Continental only allows you to book 3 days in advance of travel days. We were confident that all would go as planned as we set off in our long journey from NC to TX.

On Friday the 10th I called Continental first thing in the morning. The first person I spoke we was the most uncaring person I have encountered during this entire journey. Basically she told me that Star could not go in the flight. This lady was not going to help at all so I decided not to waste my time with her and call back. Unfortunately the second call did not have any different results. Star could not go. For the first time in two months I heard the possibility that we may have to stay here until Sept.!!!!! I asked Bob to take over.

Bob called Continental and asked to speak with a Manager. This was the perfect decision. He was directed to Virginia, a Panamanian lady who is one of the angels we have found in this trip. She did the impossible and booked Star for the 20th and re-booked us in the same flight. Today is the 19th so we leave tomorrow. We are still praying that all will go well and that we can all make it in that flight to Quito.

This delay has been such a blessing. Bob and I have been going at incredible speeds for months now and were totally exhausted but as usual failed to either see it or to be smart enough to stop and take care of ourselves.

God knows best. Saying YES to whatever comes my way allows me to truly experience this truth.

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