Before my trip, I asked Sharon how I would find the van. She had told Julio to make a sign with my name on it, but he said that they wouldn't have any problem finding us since I would have Alex.
Our plane did land a little early, so I was walking out of the airport at about the time that we were scheduled to land. As we were walking out of the airport, I was scanning the crowd of people who were waiting. I was looking for either Aida (the lady who works with COTA in Guatemala and takes care of all of the paperwork) or Manual and Gloria. I didn't see anyone that I recognized - no one had a sign with my name on it - and my stomach did a little flip.
The porter took my bags across the street to the sidewalk on the other end. He asked me (in very broken English - bless his hear - I couldn't converse with him in Spanish because I'm a dork) if I wanted to borrow his cell phone to call my friends. That's when it hit me - I had NO ONE'S cell phone number - not even Sharon's!! (and my Blackberry and cell phone don't work in Guatemala) I felt so stupid. I had to try to explain to him that I didn't have their number.
He waited with me for a little bit, but then went back inside. Luckily he left the luggage cart with me, so I didn't have to unload my bags.
So, I stood there.....and I stood there.....and I stood there. I had about 10 people offer me their cell phones to call my amigos.....very embarrassing.
I tried not to panic. After all, my plane was early, and I was now on Guatemala time. I kept scanning the crowd looking for a familiar face. I didn't know what I was going to do if I never found them. I thought I might hop one of the hotel shuttles and then see what I could do. At least there, I could get access to a phone and - I don't know what - but something. :)
After about 15 minutes I thought it might be a good idea to go back over to the entrance to the airport and see if I could find anyone. So, I pushed my cart back over the street and started wandering around. (oh the looks I was getting!!!)
All of the sudden I heard, "Alex!!!!" I turned around and there was Aida - and Julio. Ahhh....my heart went back to beating normally, and I felt my whole body relax.
Aida and Julio both gave me big hugs (which was interesting since I was wearing Alex in my Baby Bjorn) Julio and the driver then whisked my bags away and started putting them in the van.
Aida took me over to the van (which was right behind me). I started getting Alex out of the carrier so I could hand him over to mom and dad when the door opened - and there they were - with the biggest smiles on their faces.
I handed Alex over to Manuel and the minute I did that, the tears started coming. They both kissed all over him while I sat in front of them trying so hard to keep from bawling. And then, it happened, Alex started whimpering, and reached for me.
It was heartbreaking. I tried to love on him while he stayed in dad's arms. Eventually, they handed him back to me. So, I held onto him while they loved on him.
Alex really didn't do bad, and other then that first little whimper, he didn't cry. I handed him back to mom and dad, turned around and started crying. Aida, bless her heart, just rubbed my back.
By the time we were done with all of this, the van was loaded with all of my luggage and we were off to the embassy.