First Impressions

Our first impressions actually started on the plane from Miami to Panama City.  We went from efficiency driven to relationship driven.  The flight attendants were much more concerned with getting to know people than serving them, which is why, when the plane landed most passengers still had their garbage from the one time only drink service of the flight.  In fact, when passengers came back to ask flight attendants for more to drink, they were directed to the galley and told they could help themselves – I love it.  At one point during the flight I got up to change Ethan, I didn’t notice the long line of people waiting for the lavatories in the galley, as I went back with Ethan in hand they all graciously motioned for me to go ahead of them – there is a such value put on children in this culture, for the most part.  And, as a side note, there were changing tables on the plane – AWESOME!

Deplaning at the airport we experienced the wall of warm humid air, Bella said she likes being hot.  As we walked into the airport we entered the long, snake like, line to immigration, I told Shirlene I thought it was about an hour and a half to get through.  Right after I said that and very official and serious immigration agent pointed to us, and told us to come with him, he pulled us out of the line, off to the side and Shirlene and I thought we heard him say, wait here.  I looked at the other gringos in line and said, make sure you tell our families what happened to us…  One of them replied, he said you could go on.  We looked at each other, looked for the agent, who was no where to be found and decided to just walk right up to the front of the line.  I assume he was giving us a break, maybe he know how much luggage we had.  ;)  In my reading about the the Panamanian culture, I have read many times that children and family is held in high regard, its normal for pregnant women and women with young children to be ushered the front of the line, given seats on buses where is standing room only, and given lots of attention.  Whatever it was, we were blessed.

When we arrived at the immigration desk, the woman looked serious, but one smile from Ethan and she was hooked.  She stamped the stack of papers and sent us on our way saying (in Spanish), you can go if I can keep him.  I love it!  Getting our bags was crazy, two carts fully loaded, with Ellie and Bella pushing three more bags, our entourage was in line.  We arrived at the xray machines where the woman looked at our bags, she showed me pictures of some of our bags and was asking me to tell he what was in them, there were two she wasn’t happy about.  But, in this situation, my poor Spanish was a great asset, she finally just waived us on and tore up my customs declaration form and threw it in the trash.  I’m actually not sure why she did this, since she was filing all the others.  On the output of the xray machine were waiting two men who stacked our luggage onto our carts (precariously) and insisted to push them for us.  As one of them pushed, the entire load fell off and blocked off the exit to the airport.  I can see that stacking training is a need in Panama, maybe God can use us there too.  ;)

We were greeted by Chris and Tulio from YWAM in two vans, we piled the luggage and people and headed to the YWAM base.  We were beat, up at 4am, we were sleep walking at this point.  We unloaded, with a ton of help, and I greeted friends that I met on my scouting trip in January – it was awesome to see our Christian brothers and sisters.  We ate dinner, showered, got into bed and we were all asleep by 10pm.

The next day, breakfast at 7am, good food and lots of playing done by the kiddos on the base.  They made friends with Ann, 2yrs, and Judah, I think 10 yrs.  Running around in the heat and humidity, bright red faces, lots of laughs, looking at strange bugs, bird nests, collecting leaves and lots of throwing rocks (done by Ethan).  They were all dirty and tired by shower time.

Shower time in interesting since there is no hot water.  Its not cold, but its just the right temperature to make you gasp upon entry.  Ethan doesn’t seem to mind, he likes the involuntary gasping for some reason.  Ellie’s a trooper, just getting the job done.  Bella, well, Bella was Bella.  She was hesitant at first but once she was in, she stayed in, gasping and laughing, giggling uncontrollably.  She didn’t want to come out, she was delirious, yelling out praise You Jesus for cold water, praise the Lord for the cold water, over and over in between the gasping, laughing and giggling.  I was a sight and sound to see.  After shower time, the kiddos fell asleep instantly.

We feel so blessed to be cared for by our Father in Heaven.  He has protected, provided and cared for us so well.  And we have no doubt He will continue to.

Praise You God for such abundant blessings.

Off to the islands tomorrow, to our new home…  ;)

 

4 Comments

  1. Lyn Johnson
    Mar 28, 2012

    Dear, dear friends, what a joy to read your blog. We are so amazed by all God is doing and so blessed by your faithfulness!
    Sending you lots of hugs and love and prayers and blessings!!!!

    Hugs and kisses from your friends who LOVE you!!!
    Lyn

    • Carrie Adams
      Mar 29, 2012

      Bobby and Sas, we are praying for a smooth transition! We love reading your blog. So glad that you are there safely!

      Carrie

  2. Verity
    Mar 29, 2012

    Aaack! I can hardly believe you are gone, let alone taking weirdly foreign cold showers and getting your declaration pages ripped up as if you surpass the laws of international travel:)
    Oh yeah, but this is the Wood family… Anything with God is possible, and the Woods live that to the fullest. Oh yeah, now I remember.
    Blessings to you, many many prayers of wisdom and discernment headed your way. And, above all, Love.
    I miss you and love you..
    Brandon and I are in Florida, not too far away He is running a 101+ temp, which is very odd for him, but he is atrooper. He says hello.

    Xoxo
    We love toy dearly!

  3. matt.w@usdigital.com
    Mar 29, 2012

    Our God is so good. Looking forward to hearing more, especially praising Jesus in the cold shower!
    My love to you,

    Matt

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