On March 3rd, after two months in Nicaragua, we left Granada and took a bus to Managua.
Normally we would just walk up to the square and grab a bus to UCA terminal in Managua, but those are smallish buses and it is hard to have your suitcase with you. You either pay a fare for your suitcase to ride with you inside on the seat next to you or you pay a half fare for the suitcase to ride on the roof out of sight and out of control. We went to the terminal for buses to Marcado Roberto Huembes and got on a converted school bus. The seats on these buses are higher so you have enough room under the seats to stow a carry-on bag and you are sitting higher so if the bus fills up you don’t have a butt cheek next to your face cheek.
Disembarking from the bus in Marcado Roberto Huembes terminal we had all sorts of helpful taxi drivers and their touts offering us overpriced rides to our hotel near the airport. Walking about twenty feet to the assembled cabs outside the terminal the price dropped by about fifty percent. We got in the cab of a crazy driver who took us briskly to the hotel across from the airport.
At one point he drove the wrong way down a one-way street for a block to get ahead of traffic. Repeatedly he would pass cars waiting at a red light by cutting around them from the left-turn lane and passing them as the light changed to green. When we got to the hotel, Juanita got out of the cab and the taxista demanded twice the fare agreed to back at the bus terminal. I resisted the request and paid him what we had agreed on. He told me to get out. I stayed in the cab until he got out. I mentioned the luggage and he acted surprised like he had forgotten all about it and got out to open the truck. I then got out of the cab. If I had got out before he did there was nothing stopping him from just driving off with our bags.
We flew back to Canada on Friday, March 4th
We went across the street from our hotel and into the airport terminal. We passed through immigration and demonstrated we had paid our ten dollar entry payment on arrival in the country and then went through security into the secured area. Unlike previous years there was no secondary security check between gate desk and the airplane. We could have bought water in the secured area, but didn't since it had been seized on the jetway in the past. I wonder if this is a permanent change.
In Houston there were changes on Customs & Immigration checks. They have stopped lumping Americans and Canadians together at immigration.
We checked but there were no flights to Edmonton earlier than our scheduled departure so we waited.
After getting off the palne in Edmonton and through all the checks we arrived at the pick-up zone at the same time as our son-in-law, Nick.
Saturday we visited with family in Edmonton and drove back to Meadow Lake on Sunday. I was able to schedule a pre-employment drug test in Meadow Lake. That's a first. The police check form will not be available for pick-up until Friday.
Drove to Regina on Saturday, March 12. Weather looked like it would be the best for travelling with large fifth wheel trailer. Booked spot in RV spot from Nicaragua when only information I had was that training for work would start “week of March 14th”. Did training for all of two days and part of a third. Rest of time slothed around reading and surfing the internet and eating too many restaurant meals until work started on March 28th. Did manage to finish filing our income tax returns for 2015.
This is the ninth year in a row I have worked the spring shutdown at the refinery in Regina. Perhaps it will be my last time. They are going through some changes. Perhaps they will decide they are not going to rely so much on older workers and perhaps I will decide to finally retire. I know at the end of the work on May 7th I decided not to file an Employment Insurance claim since I had no intention of working for pay again this year.
Majestics' 50th Annual Regina Car Show
We were still working in Regina when the Majestics Car Club held their fiftieth annual car show. Being a milestone year they went all out getting an even better than usual collection of exhibitors. Fifty years seems like a long time when you hear it, but when one thinks about it 1966 seems like only yesterday when a bunch of us graduated from high school and wandered off into life and/or further education.
Juanita is not as big a fan of car shows, but this year she accompanied me most graciously while I oogled the cars and handed out several curved illusion tracts.