Let the adventure begin–Feb 2015 trip!

Traveling Day Notes, Jan 29-30, 2015

(Written by team member, Debbie Wyne)

     Our team is beginning to assemble.  Mark and Cynthia have already been in Ethiopia for several days.  Their daughter, Caitlin, works for the Peace Corps there and so they arrived early to spend time with her.  She will also join us in Sintaro Village and will likely bring a wealth of knowledge of the Ethiopian culture with her.  Kindri moved to Uganda just a few weeks ago and has been putting on camps for youth and going through Leadership training with her team.  She will be joining us in Ethiopia!  The rest of us (Lori, Teri and myself) headed to the airport late Thursday night to being our trek to join the team in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

All packed and ready to go! (L to R:  Lori Larson, Debbie Wyne, Teri Flynn)

All packed and ready to go! (Lori, Debbie and Teri)

     Kindri had left behind some of her belongings that we are bringing over to her in 3 large bins.  We have a weight limit of 50lbs per bag, and each of the bins comes in at exactly 50 pounds, or just slightly under!  Now that’s what I call great packing!  Lori, Teri and I will each check one of the bins along with our own luggage and we will not have to pay any additional baggage fees.
     Teri is the first to approach the ticket counter to check in.  Immediately the United agent discovers that Teri’s ticket has been “revoked”!  Lori and I silently pray for this to be resolved while Teri calmly deals with Ethiopian airlines by phone.  After much patience, she is cleared to fly to Washington DC, but we don’t know for certain that she will be able to be on the second leg of the flight, from DC to Addis Ababa.  We won’t know until we land in DC!  We take it on faith that it is going to work out and be resolved.  Otherwise, Teri is prepared to fly back home, and Lori and I would need to pay to ship the extra bin.
     The red eye flight is uneventful and each of us catches some cat naps.  Once we arrive in DC, we head straight to the ticket counter of Ethiopian Airlines and the helpful agent is able to resolve the issues surrounding Teri’s revoked ticket and she has a boarding pass in hand!  Praise God for answered prayers!  We are already feeling that great things are in store on this trip and that the enemy wants to throw obstacles in our path.  God is already at work in us and our faith is increasing!
     It’s 4:30am California time when we arrive at the airport, but that doesn’t stop us from chowing down on some Mexican food from Chipotle for breakfast!  We decide that rice and beans will be a filling meal to sustain us for the long flight ahead.
     I get on the plane and take some Dramamine to help me sleep.  Within minutes I begin dozing and sleep off and on for about 3 hours.  When I wake up, the sun is already starting to set.  Since I’ve left home, the sun has come and gone, and I still have many hours before I arrive at our destination!
     I watched a couple of movies while on the plane. One entitled “The Good Lie” is about the “Lost Children”–the refugees who came to the US out of war torn Sudan. It is based on a true story and I find it very moving. I feel that the movie portrays some of the culture shock and immense differences between African villagers and Americans. In one scene, the refugees find work in a US grocery store. One of their jobs was to throw away pull dated food. They cannot fathom why one would throw away perfectly good food when so many are hungry. It is a good question. The movie brings to light so much of what we, as Americans living a life of abundance, take for granted. I feel it is just the beginning of a very eye opening journey for me.
      As we begin our descent into Addis Ababa the sun is coming up and is a burst of color in the sky. My first African sunrise.
     We have landed! Let the adventure begin!