We have finally arrived in João Pessoa. We arrived really early on Sunday morning about 4:00 AM Brazil time (3:00 AM Eastern Time). Our original itinerary had us arriving at 1:30 AM on Saturday morning. We had left Knoxville on time but due to some storms in the DC area, our plane could not land. We flew around until we almost ran out of fuel. We were forced to land in Roanoke, VA to refuel. After refueling, we took off and landed in DC. When we landed, we could not find our flight on the board. Turns out, they had canceled the flight. They had rebooked us for the flight the following day, but because it was due to weather, they were unable to provide us with hotel room or anything like that. We were actually able to stay at a nice hotel for under $100 a night in the DC area.
After getting a good nights rest, we were able to get the hotel shuttle to drop us off at the mall to do some shopping for some basic necessities. We got to eat lunch at The Cheesecake Factory… (some mission trip eh?) The shuttle was able to pick us up at the mall and back to the hotel. We had talked to our travel agent some. She had told us that all the flights to João Pessoa were full. It was looking like we might have to spend the night in Sao Paulo. When we arrived in Sao Paulo, we went through customs and waited for our baggage. It never showed up. We then went to the baggage service counter and did all the paperwork for lost luggage. This would turn out to be a blessing in disguise. We wouldn’t have to carry our luggage around all day, since you can only check your luggage in 4 hours before your flight is scheduled to leave. It would also help out, since it would give us some flexibility in what flights we took to get to João Pessoa. It turns out, when we got to the TAM desk, our travel agent had been able to get us tickets on the evening flight to João Pessoa.
So after hanging out in the Sao Paulo airport for a few hours, we went through security to wait to get on our final plane. Due to the air traffic controllers being on strike, our plane that was supposed to leave at 9:35 didn’t leave until 12:35. We did eventually arrive safely and hopefully our bags will be showing up really soon. It was good to see a lot of familiar faces at church last night. We are gearing up to start EBF today.