The drive to Logan Airport with my son, Matthew, was a breeze. The traffic serpent of red brake lights on I-93 caused a momentary twinge in my punctuality nerve but quickly resolved as vehicles continued moving. We pulled up to Terminal B, rented a curbside luggage cart, and piled eight bags in an interlocking pattern that supported them precariously as they cantilevered over the end of the dolly. I hugged Matthew goodbye and he departed for the Spanish Consulate in Boston to pick up his student visa in preparation for his departure next week for a semester studying in Madrid. I wheeled into the terminal and peered left then right looking for Leon and Donna who told me they may be delayed if their bus from Providence encountered any issues. To my surprise, they were already sitting with a wheelchair for Leon and boarding passes in hand. I was a bit perplexed because our reason for meeting early was to have three of my large items checked in their names. Fortunately, the nearby customer service gentleman was atypically helpful and it rectified the situation. Now I just hope the bags marked “fragile” don’t become targets of disgruntled TSA baggage handlers who aren’t getting a paycheck tomorrow due to the government shutdown.
Leon shared with delight the effectiveness of his Monday cortisone shot in giving relief from his recent persistent piercing leg and back pain. An answered prayer for the start of our travels. We headed for security with Leon in a wheelchair while Donna and I rolled our collection of rolling carryons and backpacks. I’ve never seen Logan so empty. We all had TSA Precheck status but it wasn’t necessary. We rolled right up and through the security scanners in minutes with barely a person ahead of us.
After a leisurely stroll to the gate, we enjoyed muffins before taking advantage of Leon’s “needs-assistance-down-the-jetway” preboarding status. We were first on the plane. With an on-time departure, the first leg of the journey began without a hitch.
The flight was smooth enough to put me out for a small nap before delving into a delicious salad with fresh berries and goat cheese (beat I’ve had and amazing it was from an airport vendor). The customer service people were right there to meet Leon with a wheelchair and we proceeded through a series of elevators and lower level corridors inhabited only by flight staff in a shortcut to the international gate. Our layover seemed to fly by. Leon got a notification that our flight from Brussels to Monrovia would omit the stopover in Sierra Leon, cutting more than 2 hours from the schedule. I quickly called Mark Cooper, head driver for LCL to inform him while I had the chance. I’d hate arrive early and spend 2 hours at the Monrovia sauna waiting for our driver, Saah. I also got a call from my sister in law, Tara, which helped pass the time too.
I just realized that 5 years ago this week was my first trip to Liberia for the school groundbreaking. Happy Anniversary! We’re boarding for Brussels so more later…I know this is boring travelogue but it’s a time killer while waiting.