Saturday, January 2
Day #1 of the 2010 Jamaica Medical Mission Trip
I love mission trips. I really do. I love nothing more than traveling and helping other people - seeing new sights - learning about new cultures.
However, what I do NOT like is when I have to set an alarm for 2:45 IN THE MORNING to go on said mission trip. Because this is what happens on Saturday, January 2 - which mind you, is only 24 hours after New Year's Eve, so it's not like I've had a lot of sleep lately. Needless to say, I am NOT a happy camper when the alarm goes off at 2:45 a.m.
A few curse words and a hot shower later, I am ready to go - off to go pick up some fellow travelers and head to the airport.
As always, it's such a joy to travel. The lines to check in. The lines to go through security. The removing of the shoes and the jackets and the liquids. Ahhhh.....bliss. It's a good thing I've had a good night's sleep and I'm in a good mood. Not.
Anywho, we travel from Kansas City to Dallas, then switch over to a different plane for Jamaica. We arrive in the land of sunshine at about 2:00 p.m. EST. And then the fun begins.
We are a medical mission team. There are 26 of us. Every one of us has a bag full of medications to be used at the Medical Clinic during the week. That's a lot of drugs. We're going into Jamaica. Drugs. Jamaica. Customs. Uh oh.
Some of our group sails right through Customs without a second glance. Others of us aren't so lucky. Sure enough - darn my luck - I get pulled out of the "green" line and sent to the "red" line. Which means my bag will be thoroughly inspected. After I wait for a few hours in line behind others in our group going through the same process.
We stand in Customs for about 2 hours - I'm last in line - and I wait and wait and wait as I watch the Customs Agent go through the suitcases, drug by drug - making sure that what we're bringing into the country is legal and legit. Mind you - the case I have full of medication is a MONSTER case - it's huge. It's loaded. It will take all night to go through it. Sigh.
When it's FINALLY my turn to get inspected, the Customs Agent asks me, "Do you have drugs in your suitcase?"
The correct answer would have been "Yes. Yes, I do. I'm with the rest of the Medical Mission team."
However.... Do you ever have a "brain fart"? Where you say something so incredibly stupid and dumb, that later, you think back and you say to yourself, "What the hell? What was I thinking when I said that?"
I had just such a moment. Blame it on being tired from waking up at 2:45 a.m. Blame it on being tired for standing there for 2 hours, waiting in line. Blame it on being blonde. Blame it on something.
Because here is what I said, when the agent says, "Do you have drugs in your suitcase?"
I blurted out, in all seriousness: "I'm just the cook."
The agent laughed. Seriously. She burst out in a big guffaw and said, "Go on with you."
And I was FREE! Woo hoo! Free to join up with the rest of the team and free to head on to Falmouth and our dorm for the week. Free to unpack and settle in and have dinner and free to go to sleep. Blessed sleep.
Sometimes being dumb pays off.