Yesterday, we got up at 5:45am to get ready to go to the repatriation meeting point at Larco Mar, a park/shopping mall in the rich part of Lima. We were there before our 7 am appointed time and found a line of 300 people waiting to get on the buses for the air force base. I parked our Nissan Patrol near the end of the line and we left Mary Beth lying in the back while Mia and Paul waited in line. Mati and Titi Rogers (thank you!!) went with us to take our truck to its parking spot for the next few months. It was clear that the line wasn't going to move quickly, so they offered to go back home to wait and I'd call them when we were closer to the front of the line so that Mary Beth could lie down in the truck.
We loaded bus #8 at 11 am, thankful that Mary Beth could lie down nearly the entire wait and thankful we hadn't had to sit in the bus for 4 hours like those who were first to arrive. But, our bus was the last to unload and we had sat on it until 3 pm when we finally got off and sat in a tent where they checked our documents and temperature.
We brought along a yoga mat for Mary Beth to lie on while we waited to be processed, which helped a lot. They had wheelchairs to move Mary Beth from bus to tent to bus/plane, which was a big help too. She had a sleeping pod in businees class on the jet and Paul, Mia and I sat just one row behind her in steerage. We had really nice seats though. We took off about 2 hours late. Thankfully, Mary Beth's golden ticket (aka wheelchair) swept us through immigrations and customs quickly and we got to our hotel in the airport at about 12:30 am.
Many people prayed for Mary Beth to have the strength to be able to sit up during the transitions through the airports and their prayers were answered. A week ago, she wouldn't have be able to do it.
We had to get up again after only 4 or 5 hours of sleep and get on our flight to Phoenix. Mary Beth had a first-class seat on that flight too, but unlike the Delta flight, these seats didn't recline more than enough to tease you. Luckily, the entire row in front of Paul, Mia and me back in steerage was completely empty, so she came back and lay flat in it for the 4-hour flight. She probably missed out on her caviar and champagne but it was the right thing at the moment.
We got our Nissan Pathfinder which has room for Mary Beth to lie down in the middle seat, and went to Mayo with 40 minutes before the deadline for getting her COVID test nasal swab.
She didn't like it.
We were very hungry by the time we got some food, but it was worth the wait: cheddar cheese, sweet corn, sour cream, Tostitos® with guac and Tillamook icecream!