Sunday, January 10, 2010

Africa Trip, Part 1: The Airport

Well, I'm finally home from Africa.  My big plans to blog along the way didn't happen, which is all kinda funny now.  I had also checked with my cell phone provider and was assured that my phone would be able to send and receive text messages while I was there too...many phones worked, mine did not.  I'm quite sure that it was God's way of cleansing me from my cell phone addiction so that I could focus on what He wanted me to do and see while I was there.  It was quite freeing never having to keep up with that cell phone.  So much so that I forgot to take it to church with me today:) 

But I'm home now and it's time to tell the story of my time in Africa.  It seems like we left so long ago but the time went by so fast.  I'm going to try and write about this trip like I would anything else.  I know many of you have trips planned in the near future so I hope to give you a little glimpse of what's in store and maybe you'll even get a few helpful hints along the way. 

 So, it all started with a trip to the airport...

Visiting Orphans plans trips all over the world and anyone can sign up to go on a trip with them.  These are all of the people from the Nashville area. This is right before we got on our plane to DC.  When I look at this picture now, I think everyone looks so clean and fresh.  And my hair looks like it should...nice & poufy.  It never looked like that again.

We got on our puddle jumper plane and headed to DC.  We quickly scoped out the restaurant situation for lunch and dinner.  We had lunch at Chipotle and then we spent a lot of time walking around the airport.  I decided that I needed to buy a wedding ring because I had left my diamond at home and my hand felt necked. 

Here I am buying a sterling silver wedding band for $20.  Nothing says redneck like buying your own wedding ring in the airport.  I also bought some Obama postcards for some special people.  I hope the man at the Borders book store really mailed them like he said he would. 

We were anxiously awaiting for Jesse, the final member of the TSC team to arrive.  He was flying in from Raleigh so we decided that we would greet him at the gate.  For future reference, it's a smart idea to take a 6 foot 5 redneck from North Carolina to Africa.  He was just handy to have around. This man carried many bags for us and made sure that we were always safe. We ended up nicknaming him Papa Duck because he was always making sure we were where we needed to be and we followed behind him wherever he went. We spent the rest of our time meeting the other members of the team that were flying in and then we ate our last meal at Five Guys Cheeseburgers.

We spent the last little bit of time freshening up in the DC bathroom before the big 15 hour flight.    Have I mentioned how clean the bathrooms were in that airport?  I have a new appreciation for bathrooms and toilet paper wherever I go. 

Mission Trip Hint #1:  When they give you the list of things to bring on your trip and you see toilet they really mean it.

Stay tuned for the next Africa installment as we find out who gets to sit next to me...the very nervous flyer.
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Erin said...

Oooh, the blogging has begun! I'm so excited to read each installment.

Teresa said...

I'm impressed that you're blogging so soon! I almost started a "Flat Nanny's House" blog in your absence but I thought that might be a little excessive. : )

Can't wait for all your stories.

Me said...

mmm hmmm, we got it yesterday. YOU, my friend, had your funny pants on too!!


CEU said...

Came right home after errands and was hoping for an entry. :) I will be looking tomorrow after playing (I hate to call it work) as well.

Know that I am praying for all of you today, tomorrow and the next. I know you left a piece of your heart in Africa.

Heather said...

I had to chuckle at the Obama postcard comment, b/c while in Africa, I saw more of the man than I ever have here. And on things that really shouldn't bear his image or name, like UNDERWEAR on a small child down by the Gambia! I about choked! Oh the things you see in Africa. :)
And, yes, when they say to bring TP, they mean it. Sorry you had to find out the hard way.
They, also, don't provide wash cloths in 3rd World country motels. I learned that years ago in Nicaragua, but forgot all about it while packing for Africa. Thankfully, one of my team mates came with an extra one! :)