Even the best plans of men go awry and the best planned trips get caught in rough currents. Boarding my plane in Albuquerque, all things are possible. I am scheduled to fly from Albuquerque to Dallas, Dallas to Miami, Miami to Montevideo, Uruguay.There is no doubt this trip will happen, in proper order, until the Captain of our American Airlines jet announces a ” maintenance problem. ” We are stuck on an Albuquerque runway,our plane’s engines won’t start, so we taxi back to the gate for grease monkeys to determine what the plane’s problem is,and, if possible, fix it. Sitting in our plane, an hour and a half assessment is completed. Finally, with supervisor approval, techs jump start engines and we taxi back out and get airborne on our second try. The traveler seated next to me is from Peru. He makes his living explaining mutual funds to South American financial advisers and tells me Uruguay is nice which gives me some comfort that this trip will be better than it has begun. In the Miami airport, a huge floral design on a wall above an escalator going down to Customs, reminds me that Peace and Love are the hardest words to live by in the English language. It is two in the morning before a shuttle from the Hotel Element picks up six of us stranded travelers and gets us safe to our airline paid compensatory rooms for having missed our ongoing connections through airline error. It isn’t an auspicious beginning for this trip, but at least I reach Florida with all my body parts. Statistically, airline travel is safe, but fear of falling really kills us.  

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