“Excuse me sir, are you a….
“Am I a what?” “…an Air Marshall?”
This is how my journey to Guatemala began this morning. Montreal’s international terminal was a disaster – despite its new renovations. I arrived almost three hours ahead of my scheduled departure only to end up barely catching my flight. It was the first time in my life that I was that guy that had his name called ten times “This is your last boarding call”. Luckily I was allowed to take on my camera equipment because I was using specific carrying cases for it – I felt pretty bad for everyone else who had to ditch their carry ons and slug their laptops under their arms. I was however asked six times in my transit through the airport security screening “how I got the carry ons through this far” – or – “what are you doing with those sir?” This was also how I was asked whether I was an air marshall – When I replied that I was no such thing, the young man then said to me “…then what the hell are you doing with that” He was refering to my Pelican 1510 carry case. It does look very heavy duty, so I guess I understand his concern, but my question is, how can I get to the gate of the airplane and still have security not knowing how or why I have carry on with me . Anyways, I got through fine.
My connections in the States were tight, for a lack of better words. I had only half and hour in both Cleveland and Houston international airports to make my connecting flights. Of course, when you factor in taxi time on the tarmac and the time it takes to get off the plane when you are sitting in the last row, then thirty minutes quickly turns into ten or fifteen. I arrived at my gates as one of the last to board. Tight, but, I actually dont mind that style of travel – so long as I always make the connection haha!
I landed in Guatemala City at 2:32 local time (3:32 EST) and met with ArtCorps regional manager Rafael Ayala and our taxi for hire, Manolo. I was not surprised at their immediate warm hospitality. We drove straight to Antigua, one of the oldest cities in Central America, where I will spend the next 10 days with the rest of the ArtCorps artists for their orientation and training session. I am the first to arrive, so I have to wait for everyone else. Some arrive tonight very late and some tomorrow. I look forward to meeting everyone and getting down to business.
I am attaching a few snapshots of the hotel where we are staying called “La Posada del Hermano Pedro”.