Thursday, Aug 8 - Friday, Aug 9 (Josh Blessing)
Edie, Hannah, and Shelby met at our house in the morning around 9am and then we traveled down to Washington DC and parked at a hotel. It was a great idea by Beth to pay for hotel parking rather than airport parking. We then took the hotel shuttle to the Dulles airport where we met Steve and Beth to check in our luggage and get our plane tickets. The airline we used was Avianca, a Colombian airline, and everything went very smoothly from the ticketing to check-in to getting through security. Thank you Lord! As soon as we got through security in DC, Shelby started buying souvenirs (sorry Tom) 😊, which she of course generously shared with the children on the trip. Shelby also brought along a lot of snacks which we enjoyed!
We made it to our departing gate in plenty of time with over an hour to spare. This is the first plane ride for my son, Micah, and he was excited to look through the big windows at all the planes taking off and landing. It’s also the first plane ride for Edie and the first international flight for Shelby! We were served a delicious meal of spinach and mushroom empanadas with a couscous salad on the first flight, which landed in El Salvador around 7pm (I think). The interesting thing about this journey is we flew 2 hours back to El Salvador and then an hour forward to Peru due to the time-zone changes. In Peru, we will only be one hour behind EST in Pennsylvania. The second flight from El Salvador to Lima, which is the capitol of Peru, went very smoothly as well. On this flight we enjoyed a meal of either pasta or pollo (chicken). We had to go through customs in Lima and check in our luggage again but the good news is we made it through to our gate in plenty of time again, and we were greeted by Jim and Lily, who arrived from Canada, for the last leg of their flights.
Our final flight to Cusco lasted only one hour but those who stayed awake to look outside the window were blessed to see the beautiful Andes mountains, many of which were snow-capped! We arrived safely in Cusco at 6:55 am but were all exhausted from inadequate sleep on the planes. Pastor Roberto and his wife Valeria warmly greeted us at the airport (in very cold temperatures) and took us to the hotel and apartment (home of Francisca and Rolando where Bethany used to live) where we are staying. Thanks to everyone for praying! We are doing well and spending much of the day resting and adjusting to the altitude and colder climate.