Monday at 3:00 A.M., we loaded Denise’s luggage into our Ford F150, we (Russell, Denise and I) climbed in, and we left the house. As we were leaving, we prayed together for safety and miraculously easy passage through the police stops. On our way through town, we swung by to pick up another missionary family who was also leaving on the same flight.
|Some barricades use tractor trailers to block the road|
We hit our first police checkpoint right as we left Gracias. When asked for our “Salvoconducto,” Russell had to explain the whole situation while we waited tensely to see if we would even be able to leave Gracias. After what seemed like the longest 10 minutes of my life, the officer reluctantly allowed us to continue, but warned us that without the proper document, we probably wouldn’t get very far- and even if we did, we most likely would not be able to return. Unwilling to turn back, we kept driving, hitting 4 more checkpoints before arriving at the airport. To each police officer, we explained the situation and they all let us pass…some a bit more hesitantly than others.
|A blockade using a box truck, where the vehicles are all being sanitized|
When we arrived at the airport, the parking lot felt so empty compared to how packed it usually is. We waited outside the airport in our protective masks for two hours with Denise while we waited for the medical examiners to begin letting passengers into the building. Each passenger had to submit to a short examination just to make sure they were not showing Coronavirus symptoms. Once we knew that Denise was safely on her way, Russell and I left San Pedro Sula to head back home.
|A cooperative barricade run by police and the local community|
We started to leave the way we came, but the police had blocked the entrance to the city while we were at the airport and we couldn’t get past the seemingly endless line of semi-trucks and trailers to reach our exit. This forced us to take the long way back to Gracias, which we hoped wouldn’t be too blocked. To our surprise, we only encountered five check points, three of which were conducted jointly by the police, military, and civilians. At the last two checkpoints, the outside and inside of the car were thoroughly sprayed with some sort of vinegary disinfectant solution until they were dripping. The last checkpoint entering Gracias was the most difficult breach, but after calling to confirm that we do in fact live just outside of town and after scolding us for leaving the safety of our town, they let us through with orders to stay at home and not leave again. We agreed and were allowed to proceed. About 20 minutes later, we had arrived back home safely!
Want to know how this particular movie ends? Family, coffee, and an early bed time!
- posted by Kelsea