After a 4:30 am start, several flight delays, some serious turbulence, an unexpected re-fueling stop in San Antonio, and some expert weather avoidance by our pilots, we’ve finally landed safely in Quito, Ecuador at 1:30am. The mission team, although excited for tomorrow, is exhausted and ready for some well-earned shut-eye. Despite all of today’s unexpected events, each one of our team members maintained a positive attitude and wisely caught brief naps when they could. During one of our flight delays, Dr. Powell (our team lead) made a visit to the back of the aircraft and generously handed out cans of Pringles to hungry (and grateful) volunteers- most of whom hadn’t eaten yet.
We really shouldn’t complain too much, though. After all, we were still able to make our connections and enjoy a wonderful team dinner at Pappadeaux’s- a favourite tradition among members at the Houston airport. A few members of our group were even welcomed into the cockpit during our unplanned stop in San Antonio, to sit where the pilots do (and perhaps, daydream for a moment).
We will be resting here tonight, at a small motel near the airport. Our next flight, leaving tomorrow morning at 9:30am, will take us the rest of the way to Cuenca, where we will spend the remainder of the day unpacking and setting up the 38 hockey bags and approx. 20 totes full of equipment that we’ve transported with us.
Stay tuned for our next blog post tomorrow. Our adventure is only just beginning!
The TNMS 2016 Mission Team