My passport did not get to Ian before he had to leave, and I missed my flight. I spent the day calling around to many post offices trying to locate it with no luck. Its tracking number didn't even show up in the system when I went to sleep last night. I saw Ian and my parents, who are high over the pacific right now(still!). Ian has a good friend here in Los Angeles that I'm staying with right now- much better than chilling in the airport waiting for my passport to show up- also gives me a mailing address here.
Today I woke up early to call the Maryland express mail depot around when they opened. I called the tracking number first; and my package was FINALLY in there! It didn't get scanned in Houston until Monday night(yesterday, flight day) at 6:00PM. I can't think of much that would account for that kind of lag in pickup, even if it sat in a drop off box from Friday afternoon to Saturday or even Monday morning. I suppose the consulate could have been lying about when they mailed it, but that's in the past and it will do me no good to accuse them.
I'm worried about how much it's going to cost to get my ticket changed. When I knew my passport wouldn't come, I called Air NZ's booking number and told them the story. Luckily they can cancel my resevation on that flight and have my ticket still in the system. I asked what kind of cost would be incurred. My folks were worried it would be over $1000, but the guy on the phone told me $452 as an example of pushing it back one day; same flight. Being the persistent one that I am, I spoke with the counter guy at the airport and by chance/divine intervention he happened to be the ticketer(boss) on duty. He was nice and we reached an understanding that he'll do his best by me to keep the cost low. I just need to make sure that he's the one that I talk to when I check in.
This morning when I woke up, my passport was 'in transit' from Houston to MD. I called the help line, who referred me to the Houston express office. Now that my tracking no. had hit the system, they could put in a forward order for when it landed in MD and hit their express mail center. This was good news, and I wrote my folks about it, after I checked the detailed history on the USPS site. They have a tool for emailing you as soon as something new happens; so I put in both my and Ian's emails. Not fifteen minutes after my first email to my folks, I get a USPS one informing me that it had hit MD and been forwarded on. So right now I imagine that it's in a basket somewhere waiting for it's plane out here, or maybe even in the air. The USPS tracking lady told me before it probably wouldn't show up for two days, but I think that's a bit pessimistic. If it's leaving MD directly from an express mail facility in the morning, it should certainly be here tomorrow. It may be in LA and not yet delivered perhaps, but if that's the case and I can figure out who has hands on it I'll do my darnedest to find my way to the express mail office and get it. There's even a faint glimmer of hope in the back of my mind that it might be in-state tonight and I could track it down before morning. I won't set my heart on it, but God is in the business of miracles.
Keep on praying that I will get it as soon as possible! Thank you!