While we sat in the plane, which sat at the gate, which housed the ticket agent, who worked for the airline that Orville built, it became increasingly clear that the visual inspection for hawk damage was going to delay us to the point of missing our flight from Miami to Panama City. Beloved and I informed our misnamed flight attendant how important it was for us to get to Miami and asked if there was anything that could be done to help poor, poor pitiful us.
Amazingly, our request resulted in quick action. We were soon hustled onto a plane heading for Nashville, where we would catch a ride to Miami, in hopes of arriving in time to board our flight to Panama City, where we would meet the missionaries with whom we would be working at a church in a jungle on an isthmus that God built.
One happy note: it felt really cool to be carrying a guitar case through the Nashville airport...walking in the steps of Chet Atkins and Roy Clark and thousands of nameless hopefuls.
At this point in the story, the alert reader will have noticed that the alternative plan for getting to Miami was filled with hope, not certainty. The reality of how the plan played out is that we landed in Miami just in time to see our flight to Panama take off. So, we retrieved our luggage, got tickets for the next flight to Panama City (which was the next morning), were given vouchers for dinner and a room at the Miami Luck-shurrey Sweets, and hopped on a shuttle to get there...all while failing to hear our names being paged by the CIY representative who had stayed behind to take care of us.
Said representative joined us at our table while we were eating our Chicken Chord-off Blew...had we known the next ten days would be spent eating nothing but chicken and rice, methinks the choice would have been cheeseburgers.
After being informed of the brand-spanking-new plan for the morning, Beloved and I retired to our room and spent our first evening on the outside-your-comfort-zone mission field in an eighth-floor Miami hotel room, watching Eric Clapton sweep the top categories at the Grammy Awards.