Day #12 & #13 & #14
So who ever said that travel is easy?
As we headed for the airport that Thursday night, Pastor Shawn realized that he had misplaced or lost his paper ticket. When we got to the airport, things were even worse. We had forgotten (OK, I had since I had flowin internationally before where it was required) that we had to confirm our flights a couple of days before the departure day. However, it shouldn’t have resulted in all of our names from being dropped from the list! So due to this confirmation thing, we ended up waiting 7 hours at the airport waiting away on Jade’s birthday.
To tell the Send team, Joanna and I purchased a calling card (25 birr = $3) and after 2 minutes, the call was over. At least we had told them that our flight was delayed. However, Joanna and Jade really stepped up to keep at asking here and there but Ethiopian Airline’s “Be back in 10 minutes” turned out to be an hour here and hour there. But thank God that they eventually got us a hotel to stay nearby! Much prop and love also go out to Rosa who went above and beyond for our sake to get the travel agent’s buttocks running! Since we didn’t have anything to eat since lunch (that’s 12 hours folks) along with signs of dehydration, we decided to eat “late” dinner at 2 am or so. And then we all passed out on our own beds.
When we had come to, we were somewhat being “promised” to be on the next flight out that Friday night. Since everyone was rather disillusioned at the gloomy situation, we decided to have a prayer meeting after breakfast to remind ourselves that this is still God’s mission trip, that nothing happens without reason and that despite the situations, we still need to remind ourselves of our brothers who are able to To take a break and to send an e-mail update, we decided to walk out to that area (only about 10 minute walk). However, the poorly English-speaking receptionist insisted on what sounded like a “free taxi” ride so all of us including Christine went. After much needed break at Kaldi’s cafe and sending e-mails out, we headed back only to find out that our “courteous” taxi driver wanted us to pay $35 for the freakin’ ride!! It was 5 minutes each way!! We were all so mad and our front gunner and “tank”, Jade began complaining and asking back and forth between the receptionist and the driver. We have our own theories but in the end, John just negotiated and paid him 50 birr ($5.50). Though that sounds cheap, the however-far-you-wannna-go taxi ride arrangements are 30 birr! So having been ripped off, times were tough for our team.
But God had pulled through for us and we were confirmed on the Friday’s flight. John and Jade headed out to pickup the paper tickets only to be told that there won’t any. But PS and Jade proceeded to the airport to get their paper work done. Mr. Teferi came to give us all the support he could (he had brought his brother-in-law who worked at the airline) and went with us to the airport. We were just so glad and thankful that we could make the flight! While waiting for the flight, we got a chance to see kids from Save the Children as they practiced their tour routines for all the waiting people. After the long flight, we were finally on Dulles Airport!! We arrived at 9:30 am EST but found out that there was almost an 8 hour layover!! We endured the waiting by eating some good ol’ burgers at “Five Guys” and playing games like Twenty Questions and such. We were all very exhausted by the time we landed in Houston… but very glad and thankful to be back!!
Please continue to pray for Christine’s health as her sight is not back yet and that she would be able to find better treatment as the current one seems rather ineffective. Also, pray for PS as he played tennis yesterday afternoon in the heat! Between that and his family being sick with fever, he got sick badly last night. Peter is still fighting 42 itches from the fleas. We all appreciate your prayerful support! Thank you!