- Waterworks (tears for those of you who are unfamiliar with that term) have been plentiful today. BUT GOD (don't you just love those two words) is so gracious to me. One after another, my phone notified me of a text and then a Facebook message and then an email; and while I was reading that, the phone would ring. So many reminders of how much He loves me. Thanks to so many of you for being a vessel of that love.
- They say to expect the unexpected in Africa. "Everything's an adventure" I've been told. I've tried to prepare myself for that and my personality type is not A so, so far so good. However, I was a little unprepared for "the unexpected" to begin before we left Nashville.
- I was chugging right along at the airport (waterworks had ceased) and then over Jordan's shoulder as I hugged him, I caught a glimpse of the cutest "little" teenaged girl (I'm the mom of two teenagers so I can say that) saying goodbye to her family with GIANT crocodile tears. And so I joined her....one last time. For good measure. That "little" teenaged girl, by the way, is on my team and I look forward to seeing what God has in store for her on this trip too.
- The thirteen of us (there are 28 of us total; others who are coming from different parts of the country will join us here tomorrow for our final flight) sailed right through security.
- They called our group to board and we headed down that little passageway to the plane (what's that thing called anyway) and, lo and behold, there was no plane at the end of it. We were getting on a baby plane across the parking lot. Not expected but not a problem. We got all settled in and the next thing we know (this is that "everything's an adventure" part of the story) we are told we are deplaning (that means get off, by the way). So, off we went back into the terminal for what we were told would be approximately 45 minutes. Only....about 5 minutes later (no joke), they tell us to get back on.
- The flight to DC was uneventful and seemed to sail by. I think that that had something to do with my fabulous next seat neighbor (Hi LeAnn) who was great company.
- One of the glitches we hoped to avoid was having to claim our checked baggage here in DC only to recheck tomorrow. We had hoped the airlines would transfer it over and send it straight through. But, you know, "everything's an adventure" and that just didn't happen. What that means is that we each had two checked bags, each weighing 50 pounds each PLUS a backpack PLUS a carry-on. It was quite a load to say the least. So much so that it took the hotel shuttle two trips to get all of us and all of our stuff to the hotel. But we're all here safe and sound and we'll start it all over again at 7:00 am.
- The tears, by the way, were for what I was leaving (my precious family) and an anxious anticipation of what I'm about to experience.
- If I could be specific about a couple of prayer requests, it would be for continued traveling mercies, of course. But, specifically, that Ethiopian Airlines would be gracious with our carry-on baggage tomorrow. Their guidelines say 15 pounds but it's hard to pack 10 days worth of "stuff" into those parameters. I know I'm over and so are many others. We didn't catch a break in Nashville with the checked bags; maybe this will be the one.
Jeff, Jordan and Braeden......I love you SO much; thank you for allowing me to have this experience. I miss you already and am so blessed by your love.