We made the trip back to the United States with few problems. On Wednesday we left Corregidor and went to stay for a couple of nights with our friends, Ray and Esther Ong. They also provided us several delicious meals and a driver while we accomplished last-minute business.
Dinner with Esther and Ray
On Thursday we closed our last bank account and had lunch with our friend Leslie Murray of the American Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines. After lunch we stopped at the AmCham office, where director Ebb Hinchcliffe and Leslie surprised and honored us with a silver plate inscribed as follows:
Marcia and Steve Kwiecinski
With great appreciation for their dedication and tireless support
in the active
preservation of the history of Corregidor, Bataan and other WWII sites
in the Philippines, and for furthering the appreciation of this history
as 1st class tour leaders, bloggers, and historians
in line with the objectives of FAME
Given this historical day, May 6, 2015
The Filipino-American Memorial Endowment, Inc.
Affiliate of the
American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, Inc.
Ebb, Marcia, Leslie, and Steve at the AmCham Office
On Friday morning the Ong’s driver took us to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila. Our flight to Guangzhou, China, was delayed about an hour and a half, but that didn’t matter for us because we had a scheduled seven-hour layover. Our flight to Los Angeles was delayed for over three hours, so it was a good thing that we had almost a five-hour scheduled layover in LA.
While we were waiting in Guangzhou we were able to find a couple of electric receptacles to plug in our PC and Kindle Fire. Fortunately for everyone else, we had two extension cords, so we were able allow others to plug into our cords; most people were looking to charge their I-phones or whatever you call those phones that look and act like tiny computers but you can also talk into them and take pictures. The world has sure changed in the six and a half years that we spent mostly on Corregidor.
Our flight to the U.S. was long but we were able to catch some much-needed sleep, except for whenever the man seated next to Marcia sneezed loud enough to wake the deaf. Never looked our way or apologized for waking us up on numerous occasions.
The plane from LA to Minneapolis left the terminal on time but then had to return because one of the sensors was acting up. Thankfully it was reset and we were on our way.
We spent the day with Marcia’s brother Wally, who picked us up at the airport, and his wife Bonnie, then went to Steve’s sister Paula’s late on Saturday afternoon. Sunday started with a Mother’s Day meal at Steve’s other sister Della’s, with Steve, Della, and Paula’s mother Mary Anne in attendance. Then we went to the Fort Snelling National Cemetery to visit Walter’s grave. Walter and his experiences on Corregidor are why we became “Steve and Marcia on the Rock.”
Steve, Paula, Mary Anne, Della, and Marcia
Walter's grave, Fort Snelling National Cemetery