09.04.2016 - 10.04.2016 50 °F
This morning arrived overcast with some threatening clouds. When I went down to breakfast I walked through a group of pilots discussing this fact and I detected some concern over the weather. There have been times in the past when they elected to stay an extra night to avoid risk, so my first thought was my clean underwear inventory (=0). That quickly morphed to thoughts of my need to update my will. STOP, CAROL!
Obviously, since you are reading this, I’m back on the ground in Sacramento and my will is back in procrastinate mode. It wasn’t the smoothest flight and there were long periods of flying blind through clouds, but these guys know how to do all that, so I just settled into my little cocoon in the back of the flying VW and listened to the ground control and pilot communications and kept my eye on all the various gauges for signs of pilot error – kidding, sort of.
It’s interesting, from the clinic we flew about an hour to Mexicali to officially depart the country. This involves paying an exit fee of $5 and getting your passport stamped while the pilot confers with the officials and files whatever documentation he files. From there, we flew 10 minutes over the border to Calexico to officially re-enter the USA. That was another quickie involving passport scrutiny and an ice cream bar in the lobby. “Lobby” is a very extravagant term for the little room with four chairs and a brochure rack, but it is what it is. From there we flew about three hours to Sacramento. This is a completely different process from what I am used to (i.e. hours in long lines in huge airports) and so much more fun.
In between the blind periods, I had a chance to reflect on my experience and I came to the conclusion that I am indeed going back. . . . the sooner the better. If I am going to be of any benefit to the clinic, I need to learn the ropes. I don’t want too much time to pass between my “lessons”, so I will sign up for the May clinic. In the meantime, this little trip was of great benefit to me personally. Of course, it is always beneficial to interact with different people and cultures, but there was more to it than that. I saw first-hand how a bunch of different skill sets can fall into place like choreography to get a job done under less than perfect conditions. I saw delight and gratitude in the eyes of people who received the simplest gift of medical attention when there was nowhere else to go. And I learned a bit about myself in the process. Nothing earth shattering, but I passed my own test of resourcefulness and the ability to play on a team (the last being a sixty-three year challenge for me). I also learned that I really need to get “Learn Spanish” off my bucket list.