Thursday, August 9, 2012

Flight Home

I arrived at the Santo Domingo Airport several hours early. I was shocked that there were no lines. I had to fill out all the customs forms and breezed through security with no wait.I sat and watched the crowd slowly gather at the gate for my flight. A nun sat stoically never moving, while a brother and sister fidgeted the whole time. Domino's Pizza was set up to sell slices and the ads reminded me of the domino players enthusiasm in the park.

On the flight, I sat next to a young missionary who taught English and math to students in small villages around La Cucarita, in the Dominican Republic. She explained that the schools were makeshift but the central village now had a cinder block building. She had to pay her own way to get to and from the Dominican Republic and she couldn't wait to get home to her own bed. He T-shirt read, Love God, serve people, change the world.

This was Jet Blue pilot, Kevin Kelly's, last flight. He was leaving Jet Blue after 30 years of service. The first thing to flash through my mind was that the Titanic captain was retiring after his last voyage. Everyone on board cheered when we had a smooth landing. Jet Blue has a tradition in which two fire trucks spray down the plane with water for a retiring pilot. We were told not to panic. The plane taxied forever. I figured they might be going to a hanger for the ceremony, but then I saw the firetrucks with their tall streams of water arching over the plane. My window went liquid and the green trucks shimmered. Everyone was shouting and clapping. You don't see THAT every day. It was good to be home.

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