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The Adventure Continues: Stuck in Guatemala

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5/17/2020

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The Adventure Continues: Stuck in Guatemala

We had a rough couple of days.  Thursday night around 8pm the president of Guatemala announced a full country closure effective immediately.  This announcement sent us into a tailspin.  We were fully packed, said our goodbyes and were expecting to wake up Friday and head to the airport.  We wondered what does this mean? Can we safely drive to the airport? is our flight cancelled? When will we be able to fly home?  We were rapidly trying to get answers and figure out what this meant for us and how to quickly we could get booked on another flight before they were all filled up.

Our flight home Friday was fully booked (at half capacity, which is the max for flights right now to be able to social distance while on board) there was also supposed to be a flight Saturday so we knew all of those people would be trying to rebook on the next possible flight.  We quickly were able to rebook for Saturday the 23rd and then another announcement…  

The president was going to shut down the country the following weekend as well so the flight on the 23rd would have to be cancelled.  We once again were frantically trying to rebook and were able to find a flight for the 26.  Which feels like an eternity away.  The 26th meant over a week in an empty apartment with no cable or internet.  Not to mention we had already loaded all of our suitcases, except 1, into Joe’s sisters car in preparation for heading to the airport the next day.  So we had minimal supplies to last the weekend.

Without kids this would have been stressful but manageable.  With children this sent me into a full-blown panic attack.  For those of you who are lucky enough to not suffer from anxiety let me explain to you what happened to my body.  My arms and legs began to tingle as if they were falling asleep. I couldn’t catch a breath, I was crying and felt like my chest was collapsing.  I’ve had a few other panic attacks in my life but they usual last 5-10 min max so I’ve never felt the need to have a prescription for xanax.  Well this episode lasted for what felt like forever.  I was able to calm down my breathing eventually but my arms and legs felt tingly for probably about 24 hours.  (I will be getting a prescription when we return home in case of future episodes).

The weekend has been long. It feels like an eternity ago that we were supposed to fly home.  We are trying to entertain the girls the best we can and for the most part they are handling this like champs.    

Biggest obstacles:  we no longer have internet and are paying a lot every day to use our phones to make calls and figure this all out.  We have to be out of our apartment by the end of May.  We obviously don’t have much of anything left in our apartment so that’s fun. And the biggest kicker is Neva’s passport expires in June.  So we are working against the clock.

We have been looking into all of our options for getting home.  My brother (a pilot) has said he could rent a plane to come get us, we have looked into private charters etc.  The issue is that because the border is closed we need government authorization for anyone to land.  And well, the embassy won’t return our calls or emails.  Honestly, we have lost all faith in the President here as well as our government at home.  We have been calling the embassy all weekend and they wouldn’t answer.  We even called the state department but they said we had to contact the embassy here. 

So where do we stand…? Currently we are booked on a flight for Monday the 25th so that means we’ll be here one more week.  Which doesn’t feel great since we don’t know what further restrictions will be put in place and if that flight will be cancelled as well.  Trying our best to stay patient, grounded and know that this soon will pass.  Thank you to everyone who has reached out,  your words mean the world to us and we really appreciate all of the moral support. We will keep you all posted as we have more information. 

We had a rough couple of days.  Thursday night around 8pm the president of Guatemala announced a full country closure effective immediately.  This announcement sent us into a tailspin.  We were fully packed, said our goodbyes and were expecting to wake up Friday and head to the airport.  We wondered what does this mean? Can we safely drive to the airport? is our flight cancelled? When will we be able to fly home?  We were rapidly trying to get answers and figure out what this meant for us and how to quickly we could get booked on another flight before they were all filled up.

Our flight home Friday was fully booked (at half capacity, which is the max for flights right now to be able to social distance while on board) there was also supposed to be a flight Saturday so we knew all of those people would be trying to rebook on the next possible flight.  We quickly were able to rebook for Saturday the 23rd and then another announcement…  

The president was going to shut down the country the following weekend as well so the flight on the 23rd would have to be cancelled.  We once again were frantically trying to rebook and were able to find a flight for the 26.  Which feels like an eternity away.  The 26th meant over a week in an empty apartment with no cable or internet.  Not to mention we had already loaded all of our suitcases, except 1, into Joe’s sisters car in preparation for heading to the airport the next day.  So we had minimal supplies to last the weekend.

Without kids this would have been stressful but manageable.  With children this sent me into a full-blown panic attack.  For those of you who are lucky enough to not suffer from anxiety let me explain to you what happened to my body.  My arms and legs began to tingle as if they were falling asleep. I couldn’t catch a breath, I was crying and felt like my chest was collapsing.  I’ve had a few other panic attacks in my life but they usual last 5-10 min max so I’ve never felt the need to have a prescription for xanax.  Well this episode lasted for what felt like forever.  I was able to calm down my breathing eventually but my arms and legs felt tingly for probably about 24 hours.  (I will be getting a prescription when we return home in case of future episodes).

The weekend has been long. It feels like an eternity ago that we were supposed to fly home.  We are trying to entertain the girls the best we can and for the most part they are handling this like champs.    

Biggest obstacles:  we no longer have internet and are paying a lot every day to use our phones to make calls and figure this all out.  We have to be out of our apartment by the end of May.  We obviously don’t have much of anything left in our apartment so that’s fun. And the biggest kicker is Neva’s passport expires in June.  So we are working against the clock.

We have been looking into all of our options for getting home.  My brother (a pilot) has said he could rent a plane to come get us, we have looked into private charters etc.  The issue is that because the border is closed we need government authorization for anyone to land.  And well, the embassy won’t return our calls or emails.  Honestly, we have lost all faith in the President here as well as our government at home.  We have been calling the embassy all weekend and they wouldn’t answer.  We even called the state department but they said we had to contact the embassy here. 

So where do we stand…? Currently we are booked on a flight for Monday the 25th so that means we’ll be here one more week.  Which doesn’t feel great since we don’t know what further restrictions will be put in place and if that flight will be cancelled as well.  Trying our best to stay patient, grounded and know that this soon will pass.  Thank you to everyone who has reached out,  your words mean the world to us and we really appreciate all of the moral support. We will keep you all posted as we have more information. 

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