Airport Zombies

Sunset over Balfate, and the Caribbean Sea

Welp, it’s been what? Like 3 years since I wrote on this blog? It’s been laying dormant, like a Cicada, waiting to burst forth and make a loud noise. Let’s see if I can pour a few creative juices into it, and enlighten y’all, my friends. Or in the very least, entertain you. There may not be a ton of juice; It might just be a light glistening of sweat, as I write about our return to our previous home in Honduras.

Our story starts last night, as we began our journey back to the land of deep waters.

When booking flights for a journey like this, a person obviously tries to pick the most comfortable path possible. But sometimes the idea of efficiency gets the best of us. Enter, the ‘red eye…’. No, I’m not talking about a highly contagious infection of your sclera (conjunctivitis), nor a crass term used by 17 year old boys for one’s anus. I’m talking about overnight flights. Urgghhhh.

Of course, airlines are going to offer them = $$$. But, dang, they suck. I think they are a bit like childbirth, or running a marathon; Incredibly painful during the event, but swiftly forgotten after. And, in fact, eventually remembered as a ‘good idea.’ Well, I’m writing this down so that you can benefit from our misfortune: overnight flights are a bad idea.

I can think of 3 reasons to support this claim. First, you end up tired the next day. Second, you can’t sleep during the flight, so you end up extremely sleepy. And third, It’s horribly uncomfortable so it’s impossible to sleep. And that sucks…

I had delusions of grandeur. I would strap on my neck pillow, put my seat way back and stretch out my legs, and just sleep for 5 and a half hours straight. But instead, I tossed and turned, startling at things like turbulence; and the person behind me kicking; and other neighbors passing ‘airplane toots.’ My dreams of capitalizing on entering the ‘time portal’ of sleep + flight were never realized.

Heidi held no such illusions, she knew she would struggle. So we planned ahead, and I gave her a tablet of Xanax that was prescribed for our dog over 3 years ago (Xanax is bad…). She’s said it instantly disintegrated in her mouth, in a puff of dust and mold. Apparently all the ‘magical’ properties of this oft-sought-after sedative had been leached from the pill over the years of storage. Her sleep, or lack there of, was unaffected.

Juliet was slumped forward, resting her face on her neck pillow upon the tray table, like a drunk who had passed out face first into her bowl of soup. She slept a little.

The boys were in and out of slumber, mouths gaping open on occasion. On other occasions I could see them concentrating on their phones, doing activities that are very meaningful and edifying, such as playing video games.

The result of this fiasco was that we were left in a so called, ‘zombie-traveller’ state, where one loses all sense of personal hygiene, nutritional integrity, and intimate spacial modesty.

We’ve all seen those people at the airport. Their clothes are dishevelled, their eyes are puffy (AND RED!), they aimlessly wander about looking for a Starbucks, and invariably their bodies are just strewn about on the floor anywhere they can find the space (often Directly on the floor of the airport, where about 200 million people from all over the world drag their grimy shoes across a nidus of carpet.)

This was the sorry state in which my family and I found ourselves. Half of us were doing the coffee/breakfast zombie-slow-walk thing. The other half, including my middle son Owen, were passed out on the floor in a waiting area. Owen was so disinhibited that he was sleeping more on his side, almost with his face down. His face was, in fact, dangerously close to touching the floor.

Let’s take a moment to analyze the patch of carpet that was occupying the space just below Owen’s slumbering face. He had a drool stream that threatened to kiss the filthy rug, with grimy germs from a thousand origins waiting to march up into his mouth.

I’d like to discuss three of the germs, in particular, that were waiting to enter Owen:

  1. There were a few molecules from a fish taco deposited 5 days ago. 22 year old Brandi partied a little too hard the night before her return from Punta Cana. While awaiting the outgoing flight, she unloaded the contents of her stomach in an airport toilet. There was some moderate splattering of vomitus scattered around the base of the receptacle. That’s where Janice age 63 from Kansas City came on the scene. Her eyesight isn’t so good, and she traipsed right through the puddlettes of partly digested mahi mahi mixed with rum, and took them for ride on the plane, eventually landing on the carpet inches from Owens mouth.
  2. Next, there was a globlet of mucus that took flight from Jacksonville Jared’s nose when he sneezed 8 hours ago. Jared had been feeling more tired than a trip to Miami’s beaches for a week ought to elicit. The sneeze came without warning, so Jared was unable to bring the fossa of his arm to his nose in time to hinder the projection of snot and aerosolized microbes from rocketing beyond. A selection of this offering touched down upon Owens carpet patch. Yep, chocked fulla’ the ‘Vid…
  3. One final example brings us to a pasture in Choteau, Montana. DJ wears his cowboy boots everywhere, all the time. And Jeans. Even when he visits the Caribbean. (What’s the deal with cowboys and Caribbean beaches, btw? There’s a whole sub genre of country music devoted to singing about cowboys getting drunk on the sandy shores of paradise…). DJ is still sporting some cow turds clandestinely coating the smooth undersurface of his clodhoppers. Not much, but just enough to leave a little something for Owen to potentially ingest from our popular carpet repository.

At any rate, I’m not sure if Owens lips ultimately made touchdown on the ‘carpet.’ I was too tired to care. Eventually I layed down next to him and fell asleep. Hours later, I woke up with a weird taste in my mouth…


I’m happy to report that we finally, indeed, reached our destination: Loma de Luz Hospital, on the North Coast of Honduras, overlooking the beautiful Caribbean Sea. I look forward to writing a few updates on the work I am going to do there, and the beautiful, strange, exhilerating, sad, happy, and heart-warming experiences that we have.

If you peruse the website, you will see that I need to do some serious updating. It has been just over 3 years since our time living and working in Honduras. Nos Vemos!

As always, a couple photos…

Josiah Hotz, playing with the Boa that they discovered today in the playhouse. (don’t worry folks, no animals were hurt during the process of decapitating this snake…)

This is the the kind of thing that jungle kids find to play with. Well done, young Josiah

Above is a baleada. ‘little bullet.’ it may look like poo poo with eggs in it, but it is seriously one of my favorite meals. They don’t make tortillas like this in the States (or Mexico, sorry amigos…)

Bridge to Loma de Luz hospital

Well, see you in another 3 yrs… 😉

7 thoughts on “Airport Zombies

  1. Lora Robinson says:

    I laughed at your story telling, yet sad about the conditions and especially that snake! Did you really have to show that? I screamed and dropped my phone 😂😂 Obviously I have a phobia.
    Happy trails to y’all, stay safe and have fun while you’re doing your thing there. 💕


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