It was June 1, the dawning of a new month. I had been out of school for several weeks, but had been looking forward to the trip to Honduras for months. I would travel from Memphis to Atlanta on board Delta flight 1982, switch onto a connecting flight to San Pedro Sula, and from there meet up with missionary Ronnie Doss. You could say that I was a little nervous. Sure, I had been away from home before, but Honduras was more than 1,400 miles away, and I would be staying for two weeks with a missionary I never met.
I awoke early and weighed my over-stuffed U.S. Army bag one last time to make sure it was not over the weight limit. I unlatched it to add a few last minute articles, then made sure the zip-lock bags of candy were on top. The candy was a tactic I learned from my American contact. When my bag arrived in Honduras, the airline workers would hopefully take a bag of candy and not my shoes.
My parents and I loaded up while it was still dark, and they drove me to the airport. After they helped me check-in, I gave them a hug and left them at security. It was invigorating to be up and about at such an early hour. I was full of purpose. I was embarking on the adventure of my life. Even Bro. Ronnie had warned me that Honduras “is another world.” He had warned me not to stay for more than a week, the demarcation line when visitors start craving American hamburgers. Never pushy, I told him I would risk two weeks.
I passed my hiking boots through security. When I put them back on, my tickets fell out of my breast pocket and scattered on the white terrazzo. I looked back to see if my parents could see. It was the start of my trip that I hoped would not prove equally clumsy. Click to see whole article.