When I say I left ALL of my baggage with someone at the airport to go for dinner, would you say ‘safe’?
Traveling is exhausting! Twenty four hours ago I was boarding my first plane. Ugh. Boarding it my least favorite part. If you get on too early, you’re shuffling around waiting for everyone else to load and it just seems like everyone’s in everyone else’s way. But that’s what I get for flying Economy class, eh? Then if you get on too late, there’s no room for your carry on. I usually aim for the later end of boarding, standing off on the side, doing a bit of yoga before I have to climb aboard. Will I be beside the drooling snorer or the uncomfortable talker or the baby or the person with whooping cough? Ugh!
Anywho, before leaving at 4:23am this morning, I had an exhausting weekend full of excitement! People getting together is my favorite. Most especially when it’s family, so having several dozen of my close Oregon friends and family together on Saturday was the coolest! These women I have admired most of my life, most of these people have been significant contributors in my life and all of them are wonderful people I am lucky to know. So to know at least one or two of them came just for me was extremely humbling. These are all people I wish I was more like and here they are telling me that I’m great? I’m greatly blessed to know each one of you. Thank you!
Every single one of them sent me off with love and prayers, good wishes and lots of safety. Lots and lots of safety. If safe wishes were shoes, I’d have to pay excess baggage fees.
Two footlockers full of shoes and first aid supplies, all thanks to very generous donors. Oh, and bubbles! Orphans love bubbles. And stamps! Because, really, that’s all children with their hands out want. Watercolor pencils and paper. Some photos of life at home (really wish I’d gotten a picture of everyone together on Saturday- except there were too many people missing!). And two of the craziest people I know. All jammed in the car and started for the airport at 4:23 this morning. Birthday breakfast of sticky buns from Bill the Sourdough Baker at the airport and then off to security where I left a pile of straw when I took my shoes off. What, lady? I don’t look like someone who has to feed the cows before going to work?
Ok, I look like someone who feeds cows for work.
Got through security, found my gate. Stretched and stretched and got into line just in time to hear they were waiting for the last ten passengers. Introduced myself to Muriel and Jonni, my two fellow travelers, and had one of the best flights ever! I have much admiration for Muriel- a retired woman who has seen much of the world and now spends her days traveling. She was fantastic! New coolest person I know! Jonni has whooping cough ans snores. No, that was Muriel who woke herself with a snort. Jonni has the exact same flight plan as I do! She’s been to Kigali. What? Yes. She was there last year, and is going back for her wedding! We made friends. She’s the lovely lady I left my bags with to meet up an old Lourdes classmate for a birthday dinner in DC [with an outstanding Porter!… Porter the beer, although the waiter was rather tasty, as well]. Followed by a birthday cupcake. And a birthday ride back to the airport to wait for another 15 hours?
Almost wishing my iPod wasn’t dead right about now. Jonni and I are both wishing the floor wasn’t quite so cold. And hoping my bags won’t be considered oversized tomorrow morning. I am a tiny bit worried. Thank you all, once more. I love you and am supremely grateful for the support and safe wishes. I’m being safe and sleeping in front of the Ethiopian Air ticket booth so I won’t miss my flight in the morning. Oh, on one last [safety] note, I’ve already looked into it and the fact that my doctor didn’t prescribe enough malaria pills to last me the duration of my trip isn’t a big deal. Don’t worry, there are doctors in Rwanda, too.
Love from Dulles!