Our flight leaving Tampa to Chicago left on time and Regan loved her first plane ride! We were in the very back row and I was so relieved because I didn't have to worry about her disturbing the people behind us. She loved flying through the clouds and picking through her carry on for what she would like to play with. The excitement of this flight was that it was the bumpiest I have ever been on. The fasten seat belt was on the entire 3 1/2 hours and the pilot came on several times to reassure everyone that everything was okay. The woman across the aisle from me had a very rough time and was obviously terrified. Regan was fine and actually fell asleep for about an hour. The landing was also the bumpiest I have ever been through and there were lots of claps and cheers when we landed. Regan was a little unsure of the landing and held on tight to my arm.
The Chicago leg of the journey started over an hour late. Something about how they couldn't take off without a head wind and so we had to wait for the wind to shift. Regan was a little shifty during this long wait on the plane, but overall did well. My mom was lucky that she had two empty seats beside her and so she was able to stretch out. Our airline was wonderful and the seats had monitors for every seat. Regan thought this was pretty special and loved that she was able to watch her own tv. I tried watching Ghosts of Girlfriends Past about ten times but each time it would start something would happen to interrupt my viewing. Bummer! Another favorite part of Regan's flight was mealtime. She insisted on ordering her own drinks and had a blast arranging her food on her tray. She was thrilled that during breakfast they had cantaloupe.
I have to admit that I was very apprehensive about the flight process with Regan. She is not known to sit still or have an inside voice and I was so worried she would lose it while on the plane. I am happy to say that she did great. She spent most of the fourteen hours of the second flight sleeping. She wanted to sleep on top of me and so I slept on our two seats and she laid on top of me and that is how she slept for several hours.
Once we arrived in New Delhi, we had to sit on the tarmac for an hour while we waited for a gate to open up. Once we arrived, Regan's stroller was no where to be found. I tried to find somebody who knew where it was, but no luck. There were several security guards with machine guns watching the flights disembark. Konnor thought that was pretty neat! Immigration had a huge line and so we stopped to use the restroom. It was one of the filthiest restrooms that I have encountered. Truly disgusting. What was so ironic was that it was right in front of the health checkpoints where they were checking everyone's temperatures to screen for swine flu. Signs all over about washing hands and proper hygiene and not 10 feet away was a cesspool of germs and filth.
At this point, Regan was absolutely exhausted and whiny and refused to walk. I go up to healthcheck point and realize that two of the healthcare workers are pointing and talking about me. They take your temperature by screening you with an infrared light that detects your temperature. Sure enough, I get pulled aside and she tells me that the light is showing that I am running a high temperature. She then takes out an oral thermometer, swabs it with some unidentified substance and tells me that I have to have my temperature double checked. Regan is crying and beside herself at this point, my brother has paid not attention and already gone through customs and my mom and Konnor are on the other side of the line hoping I get through.
The woman pulls out my thermometer and tells me it is registering at 100 degrees. She calls over somebody else who asks me a billion questions about whether I have aches, pains, sore throat etc. He takes my pulse and declares that I look hot to him (and not in a good way!). They allow me to give Regan to my mom and escort me to another waiting area outside the filthy bathrooms where they hand me a mask. I sit there with this scarlet letter of a mask with three other men who are obviously together and think this is all great fun. I could not share in their humor and I begin to cry because I am a cryer (something I so wish I could change about myself, luckily I'm a silent crier!!). Another gentleman comes over and tells me that I am being held and to hand over my passport and wait on the chairs. I am really, really scared at this point. One of the men waiting tells me that this was the holding area that we stay at until they send us into quarantine. After about 30 minutes or so I go into the office to ask them why I am waiting and they shoo me away and tell me to go sit down. Not wanting to cause an international scene I do as I am told but then realize that the other three men are free to mingle and so I go to the gate to give my mom the contact number of the agency and the orphanage director. I wanted her to have the information in case this didn't go well. The gentlemen who took my passport came out to look for me, but was fine when I waved at him to show him I hadn't jumped the fence ;). I return to my seat where I sit for another forty five minutes or so. My mom and brother are on the other side keeping the kids as occupied as they can. As I am sitting there, I realize that I am not going to be totally passive about this situation. I am usually very passive, but I felt fine and did not feel sick at all.
Another gentleman came out to tell me that they were holding my passport and I was being transferred to another area in the airport where I was going to be held in quarantine for 24 hours while they ran tests and continued to take my temperature. If I tested negative and had normal temperatures they would let me go at that time. If I didn't, I would have to stay in quarantine at a hospital for 5 days and receive medications. He tells me to gather my things for the transfer and I tell him that I do not think I am sick, that I had been carrying my daughter throughout the airport while holding a huge backpack and that I think I was overheated. I ask him to please, please retake my temperature. He looks at me with skepticism, but I ask him again to please take it, what could it hurt? He stated he did not know I was holding my daughter and that yes he would have it retaken.
He had me go to another checkpoint where they then took an axillary temperature. The health person calls my gentleman over and they begin to talk loudly with much gesturing and pointing at the other health point check. He tells me nothing and to return to my original seat. He then goes in and has another big discussion with the original official. That official comes out with my passport and I about cry again in relief. He gives me a huge lecture on calling if I feel ill and that they will let me go at this time. I come through to the other side with huge relief!!!
I couldn't get through customs fast enough. This whole time I was being paged to go to the information desk, but they would not let me contact information. The paging was from the airlines as they wondered why I hadn't picked up my luggage. It was now after one am and I was worried that my driver would not have waited as we were almost four hours late. Luckily, he was and so we didn't have to navigate the huge throngs of people outside waiting to accost you. I have never been so glad to reach a hotel!!