Five Island Sojourners

A blog about Homeschool, Cooking and Life in the Tropics

Chronicling the Pilgrimage, part 1

on July 19, 2012

The annual pilgrimage for our visa renewal was great– restful, joyful and fun!  Thank you for praying us through it.  Here’s a few pictures from the journey:

 

 

 

 


My first goal upon arriving at the airport is to herd the kids into a corner while Kyle checks us in.  I sit them down away from the crowd and pass out a few snacks.  This process can take anywhere between 5-30 minutes.  Notice, Caleb is squatting.  He learned this from our Indonesian friends– so much cleaner and more dignified than sitting right on the floor.

 

Next, I will need to prepare to pay the departure tax.  When you purchase an airplane ticket in the States, those taxes and fees are already included in the ticket price. But as a result of a lack of efficiency and deep distrust, the tax is paid directly at the airport.  Here’s a picture of the cash, with a view of the tax booth behind it on the left.  You can’t even get to the departure gate without going through the tax booth.  The largest bill in our currency here is equivalent to about $10.  It’s actually hard to find an ATM that will disperse a 100,000 bill, and they are always kept along with the 50,000 (5 bucks) under the cash register drawer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here, I’m making a very important pitstop.  This is the first time I’ve seen the new Starbucks kiosk, but it’s the only redeeming quality in our airport (other than the brand new chocolate store that sells Hersheys products– Pitstop #2 took place there).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Take a moment to admire these keychain-nail clipper-souvenirs!  What a handy invention.  Why didn’t I think of this?  I could have been a millionaire.  The irony is that, though they are sold in our airport, they actually boast the name of another city in another country.  I’m confused.  Moving on…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I didn’t get a chance to photograph the departure gate, but its nothing noteworthy.  Picture a small, musty room filled with people.  We were there for about 5 seconds anyway because we got stuck in a long line at the security for our departure gate.

We are not so advanced yet that we can board the plane directly from the gate.  Back in the day, I used to think that it would be so cool to board a plane directly on the tarmac– so nostalgic, so 1950s-era classy.  I’d be climbing up the steps, waving to my fans, the wind whipping through my hair, tipping back my sunglasses to wink at the camera.

Instead, I’m just wondering if they could possibly park the plane any further from the gate.  It was like half a mile, and as I mentioned, we had only carry-ons.  I’m wondering if a plane is going to come land on top of us since we’re walking on the jetway.  Shay and Lydia are running hand-in-hand toward the plane.  I guess the nostalgia hasn’t worn off for them yet!

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