Sunday, May 15, 2022

Buen Viaje


Travel has become so complicated. Today’s world is one of peril.

My earliest memory of flying was when I was about four years old. I was with my father in a commercial prop plane flying at night. People were happily smoking in the cabin so it was hazy. My father pointed out the window to city lights gleaming below us.  A young stewardess came, spoke with my dad, then took me by hand to the front of the plane into the cockpit. The pilot smiled, said hello and pointed out all the glowing controls. I could see the vast darkness the plane was hurdling through. Given my flying wings, I went back to my seat. Maybe I remember all that because of the openness and love of that magical journey.

It could not happen in today’s world. The tragedy of airplane hijackings and mass destruction on 911 changed travel. Hidden bombs have blasted airplanes full of passengers out of the skies. Everyone is suspect of evil. People and items are scanned for contraband. Everyone must partially undress before proceeding to the gates, and go through scanners. Multi document checks are required. 

Now, in the time of mass pandemics, even more obstacles must be negotiated before reaching a seat aboard a plane.

In two days I leave Oaxaca, Mexico.  Amy already is in Minneapolis with her family. We meet on May 17th in Washington DC. I will attend a high school reunion and see my brother and his family. Then on May 22 we go to Venice, Italy. We will also visit Assisi, and Rome before returning to Oaxaca June 9.

When Amy left, I started coughing, sneezing and had congestion. After a couple days, it dawned on me that if I have covid our trip would be ruined. Everything is booked in advance. In a bit of panic I went to a local lab and paid 25 dollars for a test. A half hour later I got the result: negative. Good Lord! 

To get into the United States, test results taken 24 hours before boarding is required. I still have slight cold symptoms. 

I have been praying a powerful prayer called the Long Healing Prayer. 

Meditation tells me I do not have covid. I hope it is right.

My neighbor Mayolo, his wife Marta, and granddaughter Frida came to the house on my birthday a couple days ago. They brought dinner and a birthday cake. Then we watched the Disney movie, “Coco”. I don’t speak Spanish and they don’t speak English. No matter.

Mayolo will come get me on Tuesday and take me to the airport for my 10 AM flight to Washington DC.  His daughter Kaoni, son in law Carlos  and Frida are house sitting for us. I saw them today. We went over details about the house. 

The last thing Kaoni said was “buen viaje” or good travels.