Monday, January 09, 2006

Back at Home

It was a long haul, but we made it back in one day.  Our first flight from Calgary to Toronto left almost an hour late.  We had to hurry to make both of our connections, but we made it, exhausted but relieved, back home to warm and humid Cartagena.

Aysha slept relatively little on the plane, preferring to socialize with whoever she could.  On the way to Toronto she tried to help the grade 9 student next her with her Fahrenheit 451 homework in between peeks at anyone open to a wave and smile.  The neighbour was travelling with her family, which included two younger kids, and was very sweet to Aysha.  In Toronto, we hustled through the terminal, stopping only long enough to buy a bottle of Crown Royal at duty free.  They made the pre-boarding announcement just as I popped into duty free and I was hurried along by the duty free staff who needed to go and deliver the goods to the passengers:  “Where are you going?  Bogota?  Hurry up!”  Aysha kept up her friend-making on the way to Bogota, looking between the seats and down the aisles for someone who would smile and wave back at her. The day before, on the way to Saskatoon, she sat by the aisle and waved at everyone in the line as they filed by to find their seats.

Bogota was another rush.  They were supposed to send our bags straight to Cartagena, but we picked up three off the belt and had to give them back to Air Canada to send to Cartagena.  We were lucky that one didn’t come out, or we would have tried to carry them all with us through the airport.  Our last flight was mostly empty and Aysha slept through most of it.  She cried during the decent.  She’s only cried twice on a plane – both times arriving in Cartagena.  The flight attendant came over and asked if it was here ears that were bothering her.  She disappeared for a minute and came back with two styrofoam cups, which had napkins wet with warm water in the bottom.  We were instructed to place them over Aysha’s ears to help her equalize the pressure.  Aysha, having woken up to pain in her ears, was too cranky to have anything to do with cups on her ears.  (Note for the curious and scientifically minded:  My own experiments observed no difference in the pressure of an ear covered by a cup versus an uncovered ear; however the cup did significantly reduce the volume of the crying, especially when the baby-side ear was covered.)

I was thrilled this morning to get up with Aysha at 6:30 and have the sun there to greet me.  I never remember feeling the winters as being so dark when I live in Canada.  I knew the days were short, but arriving home from 6am sunrises and having to wait until 8:30 to see daylight, it felt like it the day was half over before we it was light.  I’m sure being an early riser contributed to the effect.

Today is very conveniently a holiday.  Claudina is here and looking after Aysha while Karla is finishing her grading and I am trying to catch up on some emails that I had thought I would have time to send over the holiday and otherwise get organized after the trip.  It was after midnight by the time we got home and Aysha to bed.  It would have been a very rough morning if we had had to get up at 5 to get to school and teach today.  I highly recommend that everyone follow each vacation with... a holiday.

Photos of Christmas and the Birthday will be posted soon.  I promise.  For the past two mornings I have been up and checking my parents’ blog.   With Jenny and Dave, they have just begun a road trip from Fernie to Panama City, from where they will fly over to visit us.  They bumped a moose on the road (no injuries or damage) in their last entry and I have been eager to hear more.  I now better appreciate how some of you feel when you check for an update and there’s just the same old photos and news.

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