Archive for March, 2008

29
Mar
08

almost

Thursday I sat in Sacramento for about 5 hours waiting for my flight to finally take off. My plane arrived in Chicago, only for me to discover that my next flight would be postponed because the aircraft was struck by lightning. I left Friday morning, and upon arriving in Sao Paulo 12 hours later than scheduled, I was turned around at border control because I was told my visa is invalid. (Which is not true, but that doesn’t seem to matter.) After lots of discussions and explanations, I was immediately escorted/put on the next flight back, where I find myself waiting for 10 hours to pass in Washington, D.C., before my flight back to Sacramento. I killed the first two hours trying to track down the two checked bags that I have no doubt are still sitting in South America, one of which is full of supplies for people who need them, but won’t get them. I can’t begin to officially track my bags down with customer service until I reach my final destination, which will be closed by the time I arrive tonight.

If they find my bags in time, and I still want to try to get back to Brazil, I have to go to the consulate and get them to “fix” my visa in the manner in which Brazil will accept it, which may take several days. Also, I have been flying on a ticket purchased with frequent flyer miles. I’m attempting to imagine this airline rebooking my ticket on used miles, and I don’t see that happening too easily. Although the airline checked my visa no less than four times over the course of my journey, one agent seemed irritated at me (I asked about my costs incurred attempting to come back) because they will have to pay a fine due to my needing to be deported.

This has been my worst travel experience ever, and it’s not even finished yet.

27
Mar
08

Next stop… Brazil

BACK TO THE BLOG!  Where to next?

brazil map

I am on my way again to Sao Paulo, Brazil where I will again (my first mission trip there was this time last year) serve with Restoration Ministries, an organization that supports the people who live in and around several of the favelas of the city.

I have been many places on this earth, and this is one of the poorest, unsafest places I have walked. I am humbled by those who live in and serve among the people in places like this. I also go with excitement to see some of the same faces (lots of kids!) and also share the experience with a team again from my home church, Oak Hills.

Here are several of my favorite snaps from last year’s trip:

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20070325_brazil_130.jpg

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Katie Albert

kalbfly@gmail.com

PO Box 6536
Folsom, CA 95763
March 2008
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