Monday, November 2, 2009

Running through airports, sleeping on airplanes — Part 2

Anna and Lisa prior to 30+ hours of travel. Trust me you will not be seeing an after shot!

After we were booked on EgyptAir we had a bit of time to rest at Heathrow. With food vouchers in hand Anna and I headed to a restaurant for some bangers and mash. And ugh, I forgot how in England they like to serve those roasted tomatoes with breakfast.

After filling our tummies we felt a little better but then had to figure out how to call Africa and let our contacts at the conference know that our arrival time had changed to 3:45 am. And also calling home so our dear husbands didn't worry.

Finally our gate was posted and we were boarding our flight to Cairo. Talk about not being in Kansas anymore. How strange for everything to be in Arabic first and then English. Both of us were looking at the time and getting a bit nervous. The flight was supposed to take off at 2 pm and it was approaching 2:30 pm. We could feel our connecting time for our Cairo to Nairobi flight getting shorter and shorter.

Flying EgyptAir was really an eye opening experience for two midwestern American girls. Although I live in a culturally diverse area being immersed into the Middle East culture was quite a big difference. We really did love seeing the flight safety info cartoon guy with the unibrow and the movies Pink Panther (and later, Star Trek) with Arabic subtitles.

Finally we were in the air once again and shortly there after...sleeping.

Four hours later and another time zone we were approaching Cairo. Anna always wanted to see the pyramids but unless they were illuminated by little white Christmas lights that wasn't going to happen. So with 30 minutes before our next flight we started our next Olympic dash through Cairo's airport. And, can I say, they have the slipperiest floors ever. Here we are running but having to shuffle while doing so. I think we may have actually invented a new Olympic event. After what seemed like miles of corridors and at least 5 different security points, we were on the plane to Nairobi.

I remember passing the first security point at our gate saying "Thank you, Jesus!" when directed through. And then thinking of the cultural difference. We also were taken aback when before the EgyptAir flights take off that there is prayer on the video screen to Allah. I have to admit I really wasn't paying attention the first time but Anna elbowed me, leaned over and said, "Start praying to Jesus!"

Somewhat in disbelief but mainly relieved we were on our flight to Nairobi. We didn't care if we were in the absolute last row at the back of the plane that the flight crew had intended for storage or something. Let the next round of sleeping begin.

At 4:00 am we FINALLY arrived at Nairobi Kenyatta airport. Getting through passport control and customs at 4:00 am, not a problem. We were then greeted by our transport and told we could be taken to a guest house or there were some more conference attendees coming in at 5:30 am and we could wait and all be taken together. Let's just say, I should have remembered the say that I had heard many times about "being on African time." Four hours later with a nice group of people we were driving to Brackenhurst. An hours drive from the airport.

We arrived safely at an incredibly beautiful facility that we have yet to fully explore. All I have to say is that about 34 hours later, I think it was all worth it.

Thank you for all your prayers that got us here safely. Anna and I have yet to lead our workshops so continued prayer for our teachings would be much appreciated. The theme of the conference is "One in Word." We pray that the words we say help all that receive them and that we are all one in glorifying God.

May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord jesus Christ — Romans 15:5-6

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the updates...hate to say it...but been there and done that aiport sprint in many a foreign country. And get used to "hurry up and wait." Remain blessed in Jesus!