Just like in the movies, when you write a book, not everything makes the cut.
Below is a personal story from the original manuscript that I removed, because it wasn’t necessary to telling La Casa de mi Padre’s stories. For context, it takes place in 2018 at the San Salvador airport, when I flew down to conduct interviews for the book.
The Miracle Farm - Deleted Scene
It was my first time making the trip alone. No team by my side. No one to help me navigate through the airport once I landed. I followed the signs to Immigration, scanning my eyes over people walking toward me and occasionally glancing back over my shoulder. Two men in uniform, carrying guns, walked slowly down the side of the corridor. They were smiling in quiet conversation and I wondered what they were talking about.
When I stepped off the escalator, there was only a short wait to pay the $10 entry fee and get my passport stamped. Relief. Then I headed to baggage claim. Other passengers from my flight were pulling their suitcases off the carousel. It made a full rotation as the bags floated by. Then again. And again. I still didn’t have mine.
In broken Spanish I managed to tell a baggage handler I was missing my suitcase – black with a pink bow tied around the handle. He left to check on it. I had been at baggage claim for too long – Gary was outside waiting for me, melting in the heat.
“Here – but not sure if my checked bag came with me!” I texted him.
The Delta app on my phone would have my baggage status, but I didn’t have the login information. Not the best timing. So, I texted Chad and he logged in from home. My suitcase made it to El Salvador, it said. The airport employee returned empty-handed. I held up my phone so he could read Chad’s text.
“Says delivered to baggage claim 1,” I said.
The man furrowed his brow, tightened his lips and walked away again. Ten minutes later he returned, lugging my suitcase.
“Is this yours?” he asked.
I smiled sheepishly and planted my palm on my forehead. It was mine alright. But the wide, pink bow I had been looking for was instead a thin, red one.
I texted Gary to let him know I had my bag and would be outside soon. I didn’t have the courage to tell him the delay was my fault, knowing he’d been waiting for an hour. I think he would have been gracious had I been totally honest, something I highly recommend, especially with friends. And pastors.