Friday, December 21, 2007

Rushing to SJO International

It was early in the morning. Liliya and I had been sleeping in the student dormitory which was connected to the cafeteria, until we moved into our new house. Typically, due to the sun rising and the birds chirping I’m awake right around 6:00 A.M, though sometimes when groups are arriving and departing at late and early hours I’m up even earlier. Stepping outside the door at quarter to seven, and I was greeted by one our Water and Wave Semester students.

Water and Wave had officially ended their course the night before. Often times when people finish their course with us they spend the night in a hostel, and stick around Costa Rica to see some more sights. Other times they stay one last night with us, followed by a drop off in the airport.

This case was a little different; a group of students were going bungee jumping right after the course ended. I had made an exception seeing as it was a group activity to allow her to come back onto base for the night after her course ended. This young woman had a flight very early in the morning. Unfortunately she hadn’t gotten back in time after bungee jumping the night before to make any arrangements for getting to the airport. Our drivers were not expecting to have to take her.

After discovering that her flight was at 9:00 AM and it was not almost 7:00 AM, I called our Program Director Cristian Lopez from my office, who then called Mauricio, one of our logistics specialists. At 7:15 we had her stuff loaded in the back of one of the CRROBS vans and were quickly driving up the hill, towards SJO airport. This was a pretty iffy thing to do, and was really skeptical as to if it would work. Typically you need to be at the airport at least two hours before departure, especially when traveling internationally, and we were embarking straight into bumper to bumper traffic.

The traffic in San Jose is terrible. I’ve been thinking they need to create a large loop like they have in major US cities. As it is right now, a driver going from point A to point B has to cut straight through heavy traffic to get there. What sort of affect a loop in San Jose would have on the ecology, commerce, etc… I can’t say for sure exactly, however I would appreciate a shorter drive to SJO.

After an hour of teeth grinding traffic, and skillful maneuvering on Mauricio’s part, we arrived at San Jose International Airport with 45 minutes to spare. After getting her unloaded, I found that I had to have my passport at the gate to acquire entrance, since I did not; I wished her good luck, and happy travels. As far as I know she is the only person who I am acquainted with, to ever make an international flight with less then an hour to spare.

Cross posted at Travel blogs.

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