We started our trip back to Barbados. Flights were constantly being canceled and so the only reliable flights to get into Barbados at this time were through Air Canada or British Airways from London. Air Canada is always the cheapest airways and $269 for a ticket here is a great price, but it means overnighting in the airport and extra hours in the plane. We decided to go for it. We had gotten COVID weeks back as it passed through our whole family and decided to test to get back. (Barbados says if you Are from America you must have one to travel). Brice tested positive. We all tested and the kids and I were all positive, but Brice was then negative. We waited two weeks and again tested. This time Brice was positive again and we were all negative. Brice tested again and and we all got on the plane. Honestly in talking with MU Health and the Home Health doctors who call you they all thought our cases were super rare.
We were told from the heads of the department:
-we don't really know anything about this virus
-tests have a 30% margin for error
-there's only one documented case for reoccurrence so soon after
- for 90 days we can keep testing positive
- only the first 2 weeks are we contagious (thankfully, friends:)
So, we traveled. Stayed all night in the Canada airport and on arrival to Canada we talked to some agents who told us everything there in the international hall would close at 8:30p.m. We arrived at 8:15 after an escort through customs to not escape. I don't think there was anyway of secretly doing that with all our luggage, kids, and stroller. We quickly asked agents the best place to sleep that could be quiter for the kids and 3 agents showed us an empty hall we could attempt to rest in for the night. After several hours of trying to get all 6 down with pillows made from travel clothes and masks covering eyes from the bright lights, they were all somewhat asleep for maybe a half hour and then a supervisor came and told us at 12:30 we would have to locate to another hall as that one was being closed for cleaning. I asked if there was any way we could stay since waking up all of them and lugging everything to another corridor would be a nightmare and if they could clean around us, but he shook his head and just stood there pointing. So, we packed up, woke everyone up, and moved. That man obviously has never had kids. And then we got on the plane again after a very long night.
This little guy loved his first plane ride! (Please disregard unwashed & unbrushed hair and teeth. We all stunk!)
We made it to Barbados! We had to show our negative tests that took a miracle to get to the doctor there. This was so hard to get as a doctor friend worked so hard getting them for us and checking for results constantly. I think he worked his 70 hours in 2 days helping us. He emailed us the results he got. But unfortunately official results take 4-5 days and they dont usually give you the lab results. So, we just had the emails stating if we were positive or negative. When we showed our papers to the doctor here after all that, she just said, "Where are you from?" After she heard the US - she immediately said you have to get tested. I asked if she could look at our tests since we worked so hard, and she would not even glance at them. It would have been nice to know even though the rules say you must arrive with a negative test, that it is pointless and we could have at least saved the kids from getting tested then. But, at least we knew we were negative flying. So, we waited with all the other Americans traveling whose tests were rejected too. We finally got to leave to go to a hotel around midnight. And then realized no elevators or ramps, so had to climb two flights of stairs with stroller, limp toddlers, and all the luggage. And collapsed until temperature and room checks started in the morning.
They have 10 hotel options you can stay at from $61 a night to $10,000 a week. You can have a meal option for $125 a person delivered to you, but thanks for friends and food we packed we are set. The most expensive gives your your own pool, what a dream, huh. We chose the lower end :). But it has the most amazing view, even though we can't swim or leave the room. The littles don't quite understand not able to get in. But they were so happy to not sleep with bright lights on their eyes. We can hear the taxis passing by honking and smell the ocean air and it feels like home!
The Bajan people have been amazing. We were given food, fruit, many promises tests would be done in few minutes (a nice way of saying hours ha), and another friend had her friend in customs deliver some needed feminine toiletry products. Coaches, school friends here, and new friends here have been such a blessing! We so appreciate all the thoughts and prayers and messages, internet is kind of spotty so we write when we can.
Here's pictures of meals today....WISE friends sent beloved cheese paste sandwiches, eggs, & forgotten shampoo! We can't wait to hug them! And then a sweet friend from CO sent us food to get by before we left - so we had oatmeal for breakfast & tuna for lunch! She even included two schoolbooks, since all of ours are in our house and when we left and finished school last year we thought we'd back in June, so had no clue it would be Sept to be able to get back to our books.
Our biggest praises - we are all together, on home soil, and healthy! Our biggest prayer - they called this morning and Beckett and Paxson's tests showed that they have something in their blood.....they are not sure if old COVID residue hanging on or new. (Obviously old because we had it) But makes sense they have to be sure, so they drew samples from the boys - we are praying it is old so we can get out of here by Friday or Saturday or Sunday if it takes test results to come back a bit. We are just praying the results show that. If not, they said boys will go to holding facility on other side of island and Brice can go with them to quarantine with others with COVID.Thanks, friends...