three planes in one day. sheesh. and seriously, the Miami airport is under miles of construction and there are signs that say “your destination: ten minutes,” and then they give you updates. eight minutes. six minutes. two minutes until i meet Laura at the gate. i don’t want to run, i have time to walk so i don’t arrive flushed and messy. so finally i get to gate C9 and Laura arrives a few minutes later.
the planes were fine. three is a lot, but they were only about 2/3 full with it being a thursday afternoon. we got into Managua around 9 local time – they’re on mountain time i think? so no big time shift, thankfully. Brad had sent someone to get us, and this was so great – this guy took our passports and LEFT. but only for a second, turns out he went to the front of the customs line and so we were able to skip the entire thing. we just went straight to bag check, then went outside. the other band members were there – ray, steve, and matt. i’ve met ray before, but steve and matt hadn’t toured with brad so this was my introduction. they were both great guys, with an easy laugh and deadpan dry humor. we piled ourselves and the massive gear into two cars and went to the Holiday Inn Select to meet everyone else.
brad and his parents met us in the hotel lobby. for those of you who don’t know, i don’t really go way back with these people so i was pretty nervous. basically, last november brad came through chicago and i wrote him a very random email, like hi, i’ve been a fan for a long time, i see you’re playing on a sunday night, if you have nothing else to do you’re welcome to come to church sunday morning, bring anyone, my church rocks. and he said sure, and i fell off my chair.
we end up hanging out and having a ton of random stuff in common. we’ve both traveled a lot, love God, and have a habit of walking straight out of comfort zones. it’s so amazing to meet him and these other people, who just pick up and go fearlessly forward. so anyway, we hung out again when he was back in chicago last march, so really i’ve only spent time with brad and laura twice. so i was understandably nervous at this initial meeting, in my mind i’m asking “you really meant it when you invited me, right? you expected me to say yes? this isn’t me tagging along like a little wierdo?” and the first thing he says is how glad he is that i’m here and how cool it is that an email and some coffee led to central america.
everyone was pretty tired, so from these happy greetings we all went to dinner at the hotel restaurant and traded travel stories until laura and i excused ourselves and we headed off to go to sleep. i think i gave an incomplete impression a moment ago – laura and i have met in person only twice, but have talked on the phone probably 3-4 times a week since last november. i did some little design stuff for them, so she and i are pretty comfortable with each other. but everyone else is fairly new :)
the crew includes me, laura, brad, jonothan (film student), matt, steve, brad’s parents, greg, cameron, and auturo (local pastor). greg and cameron both work in humanitarian efforts and were setting up the concert the boys are going to play on saturday. we’re very excited.