Parents worry, it’s just in their nature to. Once you have a child, you’re always going to worry about them, no matter how old they are, right? After a California couple vacationing in Peru went off of the grid and hadn’t communicated with their families in over a month, one mom took action.
Garrett Hand and Jamie Neal of Oakland, California are cycling enthusiasts who decided to cycle around the South American country of Peru on the trip of their dreams, which began in November. They had begun chronicling their trip through photographs posted on their Facebook pages. Up until January 25th, the couple was communicating regularly with their family members. Over a month went by without any form of communication from the couple. It was then that Hand’s mother, Francine Fitzgerald contact the Peruvian government to mount a nationwide search for the couple. Gawker is calling Hand’s mother “The World’s Most Embarassing Mom.”
As it turns out though, the couple was not only fine, but, according to Jose Luis Silva, the country’s minister of tourism and commerce; “having a blast — so much so that they have forgotten to communicate with their families.” In the middle of their vacation, they both decided to change up their itinerary a little bit, so they hopped on a boat and traveled down the Amazon river, where there of course is no cell phone or internet connectivity.
When the couple was spotted in a boat on a remote jungle river, The U.S. Embassy had contacted Fitzgerald to let her know that her son and his girlfriend were both safe and sound. However, she would not have any of that news, saying that unless she spoke to her son on the phone or saw a photo of him, she would not believe that he had been located safely. The tourism ministry had made plans to send in a hydroplane the very next day to shoot video of the couple.
The couple was transported to a military base, where they were given shelter and food and above all else, an internet connection so that they could both contact their families. Photos were also taken of the couple and sent to their families. After she spoke with her son and saw the photos of the couple, Fitzgerald released a statement saying: “I am so happy today that my son is well. Now our family will have to process all of this, and I think this will take some time. I can’t wait to see Garrett and Jamie walking off the plane and into my arms.”