Sunday, April 7, 2019
After 24 hours in airplanes and airports, I finally arrived at home on Sunday evening ( Monday morning in Saipan/Guam ).
I left the hotel in Guam at 5:15 am and arrived at the airport before 5:30. I checked one of my bags and I was told that it would be sent all the way through to Buffalo. We boarded a little early and we were on our way to Honolulu by 7:10 am Sunday ( 5:10 pm Saturday EST )
After ~ 7 hour flight, we arrived in Honolulu at 6:10 pm on Saturday ( 12:10 am Sunday EST ). I had a 2 hour layover in Honolulu and I needed it. I arrived at gate D21 and the passengers were instructed to pick up their checked luggage from Carousel 1 and then place it on a ‘ Smart Cart ‘. We were then directed to proceed through customs & immigration ( even though we came from a US commonwealth country to a US state ). After clearing customs, everyone who was continuing to another destination was instructed to give their checked bags back to a United Airlines agent and then walk to the other end of the airport to clear security again. Almost 1 hour later I cleared the security check and went back to gate D21, where the boarding process had already started for my flight to Denver, into what appeared to be the same plane from Honolulu that I had just left.
The flight to Denver took a little more than 6 hours and it left at 8:20 pm Saturday ( 2:10 am Sunday EST ) and arrived in Denver at 6:30 am Sunday ( 8:30 am Sunday EST ).
There was a 3 hour layover in Denver, so I took the opportunity to get a coffee and a small snack. The flight to Chicago was only 2.5 hours long and I arrived in Chicago at 1 pm Sunday ( 2 pm Sunday EST )
My next flight left Chicago at 2:15 pm Sunday ( 3:15 pm Sunday EST ) and arrived in Buffalo at 4:30 pm on Sunday.
My brother picked me up at the Buffalo airport and I arrived at home shortly after 6 pm on Sunday.
In the 4 weeks that I was in Saipan, we were able to rebuild 8 roofs. We had as few as 6 volunteers and as many as 11 volunteers working on roofs each weekday. Currently the work for the project will end on April 26th, however, there are still hundreds of families that require assistance, so plans are being made to continue to re-build homes for another year, perhaps longer. Most of the homes that we worked on still require walls, windows and doors in order for the people to move in, so there is a lot of work to be done.
The economy in Saipan has suffered greatly due to the 2 Typhoons that hit the island during the last 3 years and many of the homes are shared by several families, so the need is great. Some of the volunteers have already discussed going back to continue to help rebuilding homes and I am inclined to do the same.