Friday, June 29, 2012

Dan's Adventure - Arriving at COTP and meeting Wedley

6/28/12 - The rest of the trip to Cap

Flights overall went great. Slept a little between LAX and Miami, but only as much as can be expected in economy on a 4.5hr flight. 1st class from Miami to Port was nice - had an Omelet, fried potatoes, bagel, and a number of glasses of orange juice. The flight was delayed a little due to having to power down the aircraft to check/fix an indicator light, but still made it to Port basically on time. Because I was in 1st class I did get one of the few immigration papers - this was nice because after we took the shuttle bus to the arrival area I was able to get right in the immigration line (because I had it pre-filled out). Whipped through that and waited just 5min or so before my bags came across. Grabbed them and passed through customs in just a few seconds and was heading down the sidewalk with 2x50lb roller bags and a 40lb backpack - successfully dogging the "helpers". Halfway down the walk I ran into someone with my name on a paper - appeared to just be a cab driver that had been arranged. We walked to the usual run down Isuzu trooper and he drove me to the local terminal just down the street. On the way talked to Ivans (?) on the cab drivers cell phone - turned out I was to pay the Cabby after I got checked in. Checking in they charged me more per pound than I expected - appeared to be for 70lb by charged 90 bucks. I argued a little because the electronic receipt clearly stated $1/lb, but figured it very likely could be out of date. And since they let me carry my backpack and full laptop case without charge I figured wasn't worth arguing. They were able to move me to an earlier flight since I was so quick through, but still ended up waiting for 45min or so while a nice scene played out around the airplane out side. 10 or so people were huddled around the far side airplane wheel on the rear landing gear. Lots of staring, examining, head scratching, and they brought out a huge jack and jacked the plane up and ended up removing the tire. Then they worked on it some, still not sure whether they were actually doing something or were just examining closely. In the end they put it back on and eventually gave the go ahead to start boarding. 22min 2/3 full flight was uneventful except the nice view of the Citadel (pointed out by the guy behind me tapping the wall around my left ear for probably 30 sec before I realized that he was trying to get my attention to point it out. After arriving at the terminal, waiting to see if my 2 huge bags would show up and found that Juleesa had been left there to wait for me. She was toward the end of a 1month stay, from LA. We chatted while we waitied for Adam and Reekins to get back from the bank. My bags didn't make it on the flight which is typical, especially for "extra" bags. An hour or so later Adam and Reekins showed up and we spent another 45min sorting out the Mail from the Agape flight. The customs agents go through everything and come up with an amount of tax that COTP has to pay - then literally it is a negotiation back and forth until an agreement is reached which probably results in a tax to the government and the left over to the customs people. 5 boxes of diapers, 9 boxes of misc clothes and kids’ stuff and I think the duty was $75 to $100. After loading up mail boxes into the King Cab busted up maroon Toyota with snorkel, we headed to downtown to do some shopping. The main store in the market that Adam was aiming for was closed, so we went to a number of other stores to get some 6month old formula, powdered milk and a few other items. Then another store right by the water front which was more of a grocery store, was the target to pick up a bunch of items for special 4th of July meal (chips, salsa, sausage). Then we made the trip to COTP - I rode in the back of the pickup bed on top of all the mail boxes, Juleesa was there as well.

Arrived at COTP around 3pm, Wedley was still sleeping so after taking some stuff into my room (room w/ private bath right off the volunteer kitchen - same as we stayed in last time) - I went up and hung out with Nikki, Eventz, and Josiah - as Wedley was still sleeping. Eventually Nikki just woke him up because he just kept sleeping. I was sitting on the porch - when he came out. He came to me pointing "Papa" - said it several times. Nikki coached to say "Daddy", and actually Daddy it was for the rest of the day. Wedley sat on my lap for a while and I hugged him tight a number of times. Nikki went through who I was multiple time with him saying "Daddy". She brought out our picture book and had him look at it, point to mommy and daddy and then also point to me and say who I was - "Daddy". After a while we went on a walk - spent some time in the playground, Wedley did the zip line a few times. Whenever we walked anywhere Wedley was sure to grab my hand to walk with me. I did a number of different swings with him, over my head etc. He loved all of them - was a good sign. After a bit we walked back and looked at the new construction - Nick and Nikki's house is looking great and coming along nicely. There is also another building that doesn't have a roof yet, but is coming along. I carried Wedley some and he walked some. Oh - we also looked at the rabbits. Next we came back and Nikki started cooking dinner - I sat for a bit and actually drifted to sleep for a few minutes. Then went outside and Wedley sat on my lap again while the volunteers were having Bible study below - fell asleep again there, must be pretty low on sleep since its 5pm eastern or so. When dinner was ready, Nikki had Wedley sit at the big table next to me - he stayed on knees to be tall enough. Nikki cooked pasta, corn, and some pineapple rings. Was great. Wedley of course took his and my plate to the sink. Then we went into the living room and Nikki asked Wedley if he wanted to read, he said yes and she told him to go get a book. instead of going to the normal bookshelf, he did something Nikki said he had never done and went into the bedroom and grabbed the 2 bedtime books that we made for him (with our voices) and brought them to read. I went through them with him. Next we played with the trains (Wedley, Eventz, and I). When we wrapped that up, it was time for bath time (beginning of bedtime ritual). Wedley got a bit upset at first when he thought that I wasn't coming with him, he grabbed my hand and pulled me towards the bathroom. Nikki started the bath, then I finished by washing him as he called out the part we were washing "hand" etc. Then I put a diaper on him (Size4) and then Wedley brushed his teeth with me finishing. Lastly we went to Wedley’s room and Nikki read through his two bedtime books. Then I sang him the Alphabet song and then he sang it as well. Through all this last part, Eventz started getting really riled up - Nikki said this is the typical behavior every night. Lastly Nikki walked Wedley through a prayer. I kissed him good night and we shut the light off. Overall I am very encouraged by the first day, of which I had so many unknowns and questions about. Not knowing how Wedley would respond, if I would be any different than any other visitor. He seemed to understand that we have a special relationship. Oh - I also spent a little time tickling him and giving him Zerberts - he was really laughing pretty good, that can get him going. One other thing of note - with his gentle spirit he is also pretty quiet, has a pretty high and quiet voice. Tomorrow the plan will be more of me hanging out with him all day, breakfast, preschool, pool time maybe etc - and I'll do a few more of the ritual things - reading the bed time stuff, probably doing the whole bath etc. Tomorrow or the next day he will take a nap in my room. By the weekend he will stay with me over night. By Monday we'll try to have Nikki totally out of the picture (as much as possible).

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