we've got a runner

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We've got a runner.

That is what the woman at the mexicana check-in counter said into her walkie talkie after looking at me like I was nutz.

It was 6:33 am

My flight was supposed to be in the air at 7:05.

Do the math.

Normally I am the kind of gal that totally follows the two hour rule for arriving at the airport for the security gauntlet but not today. I overslept.

at 5:57 I woke up and realized what time it was and that it would take a miracle to get me on that flight. Jumping in our clothes and grabbing my stuff, Bryan and I got in the car to drive the normal 30ish minutes it takes to get to BWI airport.

Of course this seemed hopeless.

Bryan dropped me at the gate so I could run in and check in while he parked the car hoping to reconnect for a goodbye kiss after check-in. At this point I had pretty much resigned myself to the idea that I was too late. Stressed but trying to be gracious, I gave the woman at the counter my most pitiful expression as she ruefully scanned my passport while inquiring to the plane via her walkie talkie if there was any hope.



I was flying Mexicana air and not checking any luggage so the woman escorted me to security where there was only one person in line in front of me (another miracle). I went through the security routine (take off shoes, put laptop in bin, put cameras in bin, put jacket in bin, put all on converyor, walk under scanner, get hand scanned by attendent) still stressing a little but encouraged so far. Then reassemble on the other side (jacket, cameras, laptop, put on shoes). I grabbed it all and bolted for the gate. About fifty paces I was greeted by a smiley young man (that I would later find out was a steward on my flight) who motioned to me that I didn't need to run. Sure enough, another fifty paces was my gate.


I waved at Bryan, who was now standing on the other side of security.

And got on my plane.


The flight was fabulous. I even got enchiladas for breakfast. Awesome.

In Mexico City airport I have a few hours to kill before I meet the group that I am literally hitching a ride with. A few months ago I met Lesa Enganthaler at a gathering in Seattle, and listened to her express her excitement at a new work that she was involved in (leading) in the Oaxaca region of Mexico. I asked her if I could tag along in order to photograph these beautiful people. Laidback, flexible, and with a keen insight for making room for the spirit, Lesa was totally open to it. It was a simple, "what if" idea that lead to this moment. Me in the Mexico City airport.

So with some time to kill I walked into an airport bank to change some money. An older man in line in front of me turned around and looked at me...

Tu habla espanol?


He regarded me with raised eyebrows and turned around.

I actually do know spanish. Four words. Olah (hello), Adios (goodby), Gracias (thank you), and the all important, Bano (bathroom).

I waited in line until my turn to the teller who I smiled my biggest smile at and said.

"Exchange"? while handing her my dollars.

Without skipping a beat she converted my money and I was on my way to wait for Lesa and her group. I had some time so I dipped into (of all things) a coffee shop with signs advertising espresso. Something I knew how to order. Sipping my coffee I pondered what kind of adventure was in store for me.

On my own in a foreign country where I don't speak the language.

I love this stuff.

here's to adventure.

1 Comment

wonderful - have a ball!! can't wait to see those pictures!

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Blair published on January 31, 2007 1:56 PM.

mission accomplished-sort of was the previous entry in this blog.

settling in is the next entry in this blog.

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