It is not real great news. Toncontin Airport is closed. No flights in our out. Donna keeps working with American and Continental with the Miami connection but if we cannot leave Toncontin it does the team no good - we can't get to Miami. Frank actually thinks the air is worse today than yesterday. He saw all kinds of people being turned away at all counters. All kinds of people leaving the airport.
So, and here is the latest plan, actually given to Frank by the Continental supervisor.
He wants us to bus the team to San Pedro Sula. It is a 5 hour trip by bus up a major highway (a good highway). We would use the same company that provided the bus and van for all the kids during the mission work. Maybe even the same drivers. They have expressed how bad they feel with our situation - the drivers are actually from San Pedro Sula. I have personally been in San Pedro Sula twice and there should be no issue with flying from that airport. It is totally flat and long.
Donna has said she can get about half our group on a Continental flight from San Pedro Sula tomorrow, through Houston, to Omaha. I believe the same day - tomorrow (I will check this out and make sure of this in a later blog).
Thus, if we go with this plan we would try to send the Heelan group first - that was the group's decision. That would be tomorrow.
Right in the middle of this blog Carolyn called with her update. The team is having a good time at the airport, playing cards, getting massages, etc. She promised she would blog to everyone very soon. She said the air around the airport is much worse than yesterday. So, she is all behind the new plan - sounds like everyone is.
What I don't know is when the other half or third (because this could be over 3 days) would leave San Pedro Sula but I will follow up with this as soon as I know.
Donna just called and I gave her the names of all the Heelan group along with Fr. Cosgrove. She is specifically requesting they go first but she wont' know until she tries. She has also agreed that this is the best course of action.
At least we would get this process going.
To all of you: we could stay in Tegucigalpa and keep trying this each day but quite honestly it doesn't look good for the near future. About 8 years ago Toncontin got shut down for 10 straight days.
Thus, I have given Frank permission to make the call in Honduras. He will let me know and I will blog. Carolyn said that everyone was in great spirits.
Sorry I have no better news.
Please call anytime. R. Seivert