This is Part 2 of the story about two people in my family who were caught off guard away from their homes in March by the pandemic.
Their story is one that will inspire you. If you didn’t have a chance, you’ll want to read Part 1 of the piece I wrote about how they got stranded. You can read it here.
She waited and waited for months for a possible opening to fly to Vanuatu, her new home.
The borders to this tiny country with no covid have been closed since March.
In September, a repatriation flight from Auckland opened up.
It took a boatload of emails and phone calls to the Vanuatu government and the New Zealand government in order to coordinate the tricky business of getting Bev on that flight. Stephanie, Bev's daughter, worked hours and hours to get clearance for Bev to fly.
There were so many on and then off again moments...for weeks until they knew that Bev was approved for the flight.
If you missed Part 1 of our adventures, you can read it here.
On Tuesday 24 March we landed in Auckland from Christchurch, a bit harried and very grateful. But our flight back to San Francisco wasn't for another five days, and New Zealand was preparing for total lockdown.
It was an hour by hour world we were in and no one seemed to know what would happen next.
Would planes fly? The response from everyone we spoke to was that no planes would fly in or out once the country was in lockdown, within the next 48 hours.
We decided to go directly to the Air New Zealand counter and see if we could change our reservations to an earlier flight - maybe we could even get a flight out that night. (As stressed as we had been, it didn’t deter Thom from taking pictures.)
We had another surprise as we approached the international terminal. There was a long line at the...