So after we arrived to the airport we soon learned that nice lady who worked for Delta DID not do her job and send our standby bags through as she promised she would. Thank God we had our clothes with us but all my seeds, irrigation systems, etc. was not there.
The next day I was told that one of the three bags was arriving so I went to the airport to get them. The nice man in baggage brought my bag to me and put it through the customs scanner. Immediately I knew something was not right. The man who scanned it flagged for me to come to him and my stomach got real sick, real fast.
He made me open the bag and in it were my tomatoes and radish seeds and a ton of irrigation stuff. He questioned me on the seed and I showed him all the nice authenticated paperwork I had from the US. The next thing I knew some really grumpy old man came and told me I could not bring those seeds into the country without their approval. I told him I had the documents I was given by the company who tested the seeds and that these seeds go all over the world. An entire container full is coming to Nicaragua next week. Did it work? Heck no... He took my seeds and gave me a document with a contact number.
The next day we called and they said that they would test one seed out of each bag for 35 Cordoba. That's $1.80 per pack of seed. There were 200 packs of seed total. You can do the math and figure out that was not going to happen. Then they told me if the seeds did not meet the first test it would cost $1,000 to do another test. Yea right... Here in the US the FDA has more regulations than the world has put together. I am sure those seeds were fine. But... rules are rules.
I had to leave to Somotillo that same day and could not wait on my bags to come. I was heart broken. I did not have the money to pay for the testing and did not have the money for new seed. Quickly this project was turning sour.
I had to drive about 15 minutes in Managua without a translator that morning and on my way to pick up Claudia my translator. Guess what? Yes, you got it. I got pulled over by the police. He says I ran a red light but I didn't. The cops there are always looking for someone they can harass and that day it was me.
Here I was in the truck just me and Terry and no one to talk for me. I called Carlos immediately and he talked to the guy. Now this part I am not proud of but I pray God knows the situation I was in. You see in Nicaragua cops get paid nothing and if they figure out a way to make a dollar they will. The cop told me he was going to give me a ticket and take my license. I would have to go and pay a special bank for the ticket, then go to the police station and get my license back. This would take at least a week. A WEEK.. I was leaving for Somotillo that minute and I would be coming home in a week and if I got caught driving again I would get two tickets.
Carlos convinced the cop to allow me to pay him for the ticket and he could go to the bank for me. That's all I'm going to say about that..
So to Somotillo we go. No seeds and 3 bags short. Claudia got on the phone and called a friend who worked at the airport to see if there was anything he could do. He told her to call someone else and by night we had someone who was willing to get my bags through customs. At a price of course.
So in one day’s time I had to pay off a cop, pay off people in customs and risk getting kicked out of the country forever. It was crazy.. My nerves were a mess. The devil was working over time. Don't forget about Jordon. It was this same day I found out he was sick. Can you imagine what was going on in my head?
Needless to say the next day came and went and I sent Carlos to the airport to get my bags, the guy snuck them out and he brought them to me.
I am not proud of what I had to do but it worked and it's their way of life. Conform to it or suffer. I'm not sure my heart can handle it again.
To be continued...