Whisper it ! We're going to Guam !
Anywhere else in the world it would be called "stress" ! The fact that you think you are nearly there when organising something, then some new difficulty arises, generates a sense of excitement about whether or not the project / trip will actually (literally) take off !
The dramas of this story will be filled out later. Suffice to say that we have been waiting for the possibility of Air Marshall Islands having at least one plane in the air (we were told) by November 27th. It did not happen. There have been various tales about the company "going bankrupt", or having both planes grounded for major maintenance work. We were also told to wait for news. We did !
Thus it was only on Friday (Dec. 7th.) when a formal approach was made to the local national airline, Air Kiribati, to arrange a charter flight to get the Kiribati AA team to Majuro (and back on Dec. 18th.) It should be said that an initial approach had been made weeks earlier to the CEO of Air Kiribati who was very helpful and encouraging and understood the situation.
On Saturday, Dec. 8th., we received a guarantee of a flight out of Tarawa on Tuesday, Dec. 11th. Today (Sunday) we were given an ETD of 0600, arriving in Majuro at 0840.
Early in the year, we were promised by both the new US Ambassador to RMI plus his Vice-Consul that they would be willing to help to process our visa applications as we transit through Majuro. Unfortunately for the last several weeks there has been no response from the Embassy to various appeals for confirmation of this arrangement.
I'm sure you understand, dear Reader, that there is not a lot of point in going to Majuro if we cannot get visas done there, when our ultimate destination is Guam ! We will continue to try to make contact, but who works at weekends ?
Passport scans of the eight KAA travellers have been sent to the Continental Airlines ticketing agent and onward tickets (to Guam and back to Majuro) have been issued. Our names are already allocated to seats on the relevant flights.
THANKS A MILLION (not quite !) TO OCEANIA AA !!
The reality of a charter has only been made possible by the dexterous juggling of finances by Ms. Yvonne Mullins and Oceania AA. Without her encouragement the whole venture would have become an expensive impossibility !
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT ????
We hope God has some influence inside the walls of US Embassies !