Last week I traveled from San Francisco, California, USA to Ivoti, Rio Grande Do Sul, Brasil. It was a long trip, about 30 total hours, filled with lots of luggage and plane flights. I was dropped off at the airport in San Francisco by my dad at 5 am on February 8. It seemed like a very short 2 hour drive to get from Sacramento to San Francisco. My dad and I unloaded all 11 bags and my backpack. It only took two baggage carts to bring my bags to the check in counter. When we approached the counter the lady looked scared but she was able to check in all 10 bags which weighed 70 lbs or less.
Waiting to Check in at San Francisco International Airport
After checking in I boarded the Air Canada plane for the first leg of my trip, San Francisco to Toronto. It was a blessing to not have to pick up my checked baggage in Toronto. The Toronto customs asked some of the hardest questions on this trip but in the end the customs agent decided that I was safe to admit into Canada.
Thankful for extra leg room on the first leg. Even if it was only 4 inches.
The second leg of this journey was from Toronto, Canada to Sao Paulo, Brasil. When I boarded the plane there was no going back at even if I wanted to. I was excited and nervous because the next airport represented the part of the trip which I feared the most, Brasilian customs.
My feet flew business class during this flight.
I arrived in Brasil with great excitement and lots of nerves. I flew through immigration and then picked up my bags without any problems. I didn’t even get one question about why I was coming to Brasil in immigration. The next step was to pick up my bags and face customs. My size and 2 carts filled with 11 bags created a HUGE target and I was expecting to get stopped. On my way out, while pushing my 2 fully loaded carts, an airport employee, who was escorting 2 young ladies, noticed me struggling with the carts and offered to push one for me. When we walked by the customs inspector he waved her off and pushed my cart through. I am so thankful for the LORD’s provision here through the airport employee’s help.
The plane which brought me to Brasil.
After getting to the main airport in Sao Paulo I was greeted by two ladies from the ABWE team in Sao Paulo. It was great to meet Sharon and Meta when I got out of customs. They were able to help me push the carts with my bags and get me to the correct part of the airport. Thank you, Sharon and Meta, for welcoming me to Brasil.
My ABWE welcome team in Sao Paulo.
After arriving in Sao Paulo I had one last flight to take. This flight from Sao Paulo to Porto Alegre would be a little adventure in it’s own right. On this flight I had no extra leg room and the gentleman in front of me insisted on pushing his seat back. We had a short conversation before he realized that there is no room for me to move my knees.
Last flight, I can deal with my lack of leg room.
I arrived in Porto Alegre without incident and was greeted with the smiling faces of my new team mates. I was excited to have arrived at the final airport knowing that only a short hour long drive was waiting for me. As I finished this part of the journey I began to think, “This is home now?” It was a very weird thought and still remains so today.
The bags all fit into the Fiat Adventure.