20 March 2010 — HOME!

Well, today is the day we left the Dominican Republic and headed back to the states. We had to catch an early taxi ride to the airport (6:30 am) in order to make our 8:50 flight. UGH! Jeremy picked us up and brought us to the airport and it was a nice drive along the ocean/sea watching the waves as we headed east to the airport. Trips like these have many special memories and this particular trip is no exception.

The flight from Santo Domingo to Ft. Lauderdale was uneventful, almost. Upon arrival, the pilot asked all of us to return to our seats while security came on the plane and escorted an individual off the plane. We are not sure what this was about but it was different. Then, a strange noise from the underside of the plane began. This noise is connected to the opening of the luggage area. However, Rachel, with her cochlear implant, heard this sound for the first time and asked what the barking dog was about and where was the dog. When we realized what she was talking about we knew it was the sound from the plane. We all had a great chuckle over this. When this happened again in Washington, the same sound occurred but she knew what the sound was this time.

Rachel’s implant caused some excitement for us on the trip. Rachel is not able to go through security as one would enter the airport. Instead, she has to be careful for her auditory mapping of the implant would be wiped out. She has to have a special search due to the mechanics of the implant. Well, the Deaf individuals we met in the DR were not aware of the implant and kept asking her questions about this. In addition, while trying to depart from Santo Domingo, the person at security had no idea what we were talking about when we tried to warn them about Rachel’s need to avoid the metal detector. Security did not speak English and had a few discussions before they finally were able to understand Rachel’s situation.

Coming through customs we a bit weird with the airline. We had to physically retrieve our bags, head for the ticket counter though we had a boarding pass, and manually transfer our bags to the domestic side of the transportation situation. Heading down to the DR we did not have to do this so we were a bit perplexed why we had to do this on the return. One would think the bags would transfer automatically.

Throughout this day, any type of interaction with authority, I kept saying ‘si’ and ‘gracias’, which was making the students laugh. I guess one can pick up habits quickly and then it is hard to let go. I even used these words in the car after my wife, Dottie, pick us up. Oh well!

The trip was successful and we will now take the time to reflect on our trip and post a final reflection.

Buenos Noches!

M

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