Friday, May 4, 2012

Finding the Humor

I'll start:

We have two dogs that we would like to take home with us in June.  Having traveled with pets before, I know it's a super huge pain in the ass so I really tried to cover all my bases before booking our tickets.  I researched on United and discovered that Bay's crate wouldn't fit on the 2nd leg of any of the flights out of Guate.  Strike United.  Then came Delta.  I called and made sure that the crates would fit- they will.  It's a non-stop flight so we don't have to worry about them being on the flight for too long or changing planes or anything.  Score one for Delta.  I asked the representative no less than five times, "And you're sure they can go on this flight with me?"  She enthusiastically assured me that they could.

Fast forward a few days later.  A friend of ours was considering adopting Pip.  We love her, but we're not giving her the attention she so desperately wants and I feel bad for her, especially knowing there is another little attention-grabber on the way.  I spend most of my days saying, "Pip, move."  So much so that there's a good possibility that she thinks that's her full name.  She is constantly whacking the Ladybug with her tail and doesn't watch where she's going and, well, she just wants to be on us all the time.  And it just can't happen.  So this friend said he was thinking of getting a dog and we offered her up... but after a weekend of walking her and cleaning up accidents, he decided a dog wasn't for him right now.  Which is fine.  I was just explaining why I waited to call Delta until today.

So I call Delta to reserve a space for the two dogs.  The rest of my day went like this:

Delta Rep (DR): Um.  You can't take dogs on that flight.  Our summer embargo starts on May 15th.
Me:  But I asked about that and was told they could be on the plane.
DR:  Well, they can't.  You can call Cargo.
Me:  Okay.

Delta Cargo (DC):  What?  No, we only handle animals LEAVING the US, not coming into the US.  You'll have to call Delta Cargo in Guatemala..
Me (in my head): NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!  Dear God anything but dealing with a Guatemalan business!
Me (in real life): Okay.

Delta Cargo in Guatemala (DCG- translated into English for your benefit): The only person here who speaks English is Maria Jose.  She's gone for 30 minutes.

An hour later

DCG: Something, something, 45 minutes, something else.

Thirty minutes later- my friend A has agreed to call DCG and speak in Spanish.  All is translated into English for you.


DCG: Oh no, this isn't the number you call for Delta Cargo.  Call this number...

New Number: Hello, Bank of Guatemala.

A attempts to call DCG again, but apparently they've all gone wherever Maria Jose is because suddenly, no one is answering.  We look up a number on Delta's website and call Jessica.

J: Yes, I can help you.  Send me the information for the crates.  But not today.  I'm busy today.

And that is where we stand.  And you absolutely have to laugh.  Because if you didn't laugh, people would be punched.

I really do love these dogs, but I forget what a pain in the ass it is to move them from place to place.  When they have moved on to a better place, we will not get another dog until we live somewhere permanently.  

Of course, that's what I said when Rugby died, too. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The end draws nigh...

The official countdown is on- 48 days left in Guatemala.  The last bit of our time in a country seems to fly and drag, all at the same time.  Three years later... wow.  Being able to break the majority of my adult life into sections makes it seem to have passed so quickly.  It has and it hasn't, just like these last six weeks will.  There's so much to do in such a short time, but at the same time, I'm always so eager to finish the school year, get home, relax with family and friends, and start a new adventure.  As always, it is bitter and sweet.

But thinking about it, let's take it back to my high school graduation in1996- June, to be precise.  Since then, I:

  • Spent 4 years in college, arguably something I would do again in a heartbeat, as long as the same exact people lived there with me.
  • Waitress-ed in a roadhouse for 1 1/2 years, making my father extraordinarily proud of the money he spent on my Bachelor of Music Education.  I argue that it was my "gap year"... instead of backpacking across Europe (which, admittedly, I never would've done anyway), I was serving beer and sweeping up peanuts in Suburbia, GA.  In case you're wondering, I would NOT do this again unless absolutely necessary.
  • Taught 2nd-5th graders in the Dominican Republic.  It was the adventure that changed my life and I most definitely would do it again, just to ensure I ended up here.  But it was really freaking hot.
  • Taught 6th-12th graders music, guitar, and drama in Kuwait.  Wait.  I take back the 'hot' part of the aforementioned D.R.  Kuwait was HOT.  But it was a dry heat... I loved my job and I loved my kids.  I met my husband.   I got two dogs.  
  • Taught PreK-4th graders in Shanghai.  There are a few people I love from there, and I know that being there has lead me here.  But I wouldn't go back.  I did not love China.  It was not very Raven.
  • And now... three years in Guatemala.  People actually came to visit us here.  We made some amazing friends, saw a very beautiful part of the world, I lost my momma, and... there's something I'm forgetting.  Hmmm... oh yeah!  My little Ladybug and her little sister, Beansprout (due to arrive in September) came along.  How could I forget that (I didn't really.  I'm just teasing you guys...)?
  • Next: Bahrain.  And eventually a retirement home in Sri Lanka.  According to mi esposo.
It's strange to see  16 years of life laid out so simply.  It's not simple, though.  It's been magical.  It's been amazing and unbelievable and frustrating and exciting.  It's been laughable and infuriating. 

And I sure as hell wouldn't change a minute.