Sunday, March 28, 2010


HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO CLAIRE and MR. ED and good morning from ROME! I SO wish I could get out an look around. We had a refuel for about an hour where we just stayed on the plane. no sleeping plan didn't work out. I pretty much slept the whole way to Rome after I quit journaling. We just took off again headed for London and I'm starving. All I've had to eat in the last day is peanut M&M's, peanut butter crackers and oreos this morning. Real healthy huh? ha! This Ethiopian Air food makes me SICK. YUCK! I am SO pumped for a good meal and a hot shower in Chicago. We're getting closer and closer to America! I've loved every minute of this trip...minus the 2-3 days travel time each way. I could've done without that. A few of us are already talking about wanting to go back next year...i'd LOVE THAT! A piece of my heart is definitely in Ntcheu! I am SO thankful to everyone who donated to make this trip possible for me! It means the world to me! I am 100% sure that God hand picked me for this trip and I am so glad that I was able to be obedient in what I was being called to do. God provided in a MIGHTY way!

***(CONTINUED)***'ll NEVER guess what happened to us in London. I DESPISE LONDON! SURPRISE...we missed our flight. Actually...NO...that's an incorrect statement...our plane was still there BUT they had closed the gate 5 mins before we got there. The reason we were late is because of that electrical problems on the Ethiopia flight. When we talked to the customer service desk for United (WHAT CUSTOMER SERVICE!?!?) they said it had nothing to do with them...although we booked through them. They had the money for the ticket but wouldn't let us on the plane...we were all SO UPSET. If you remember...we ALSO got stuck in London on the way TO Africa! I do NOT like London. Everyone we dealt with today at customer service was rude. The lady at customer service argued with us for 30 minutes as the plane STILL SAT THERE. Gina and Joley cried! Gina asked if we enjoyed her Academy Award was really good! It was pretty convincing to me but the lady wasn't having it. So...she tells us that the rest of the United flights to Chicago were full the rest of the day. She told us that we needed to walk all the way back to terminal 3 to talk to Ethiopian Air (who's desk didn't open for another 7 hours.) AWESOME. Our only option was to split up the group. Gina, Mere, Beth, Josh and Joely were booked on a 3:00 AA flight and Clint, Chan, Rodney, Abbie, Tyler, Travis, and I were sitting standby for all of the remaining chicago or DC flights. Travis somehow got separated from our group which was scary because on standby you have to be ready whenever. We finally found him...he wasn't very happy with us but got over it pretty fast. I forgot to mention us running through the airport like on Home Alone. Abbie tripped and slid a good ways and while clint was running, his backpack unzipped all the way and everything fell out! So...back to our soap opera...Gina's group's flight got canceled so they were put on AA Standby and we were on United standby. We sat through 2 boardings and couldn't get on either so we decided to eat lunch. We were all craving GREASY fried food...preferably some kind of meat since we all skipped out on meat this week. We ate at this place called "Giraffes" was pretty good. A cheeseburger and fries "chips" was EXACTLY what I needed. After lunch our next option was another Chicago was full too. Our options were getting fewer and fewer considering most international-US flights leave out before noon. ALSO...there was a STRIKE in London with the British Airlines so that made other flights more full. The next option was flying to DC then to Chicago. There ended up being 4 seats open on the whole HUGE B777 plane so Clint sent Tyler, Travis, Abbie, and me. We are on the flight now and have NO IDEA our plans once we get to DC. There's supposedly a flight from DC to Chicago tonight but i'm not sure if we'll make it or have to spend the night in DC. I'm SO ready to get home but the overnight in DC might not be too least maybe i'd get to see Shep...and have the opportunity to take a hot shower...AND MOST IMPORTANTLY...BE OUT OF LONDON! I have developed an EXTREME DISLIKE FOR THAT PLACE! I actually like this plane...i'm at the VERY back but it's HUGE and I have a window seat. I'm sitting by a REALLY sweet lady. Clint Chan and Rodney are STILL stuck in London...poor guys...hopefully they'll get out soon! I'm about to try to get some sleep. My sleep schedule is all off. I woke up right before we landed in DC to a meal...a YUMMY turkey sandwich, some chips and a TWIX BAR! I was in HEAVEN! I haven't had chocolate in FOREVER! :)


WE MADE IT TO DC! Thank you JESUS we're back in the US! I can't say i've EVER been more proud to be an AMERICAN! I missed this country SO much. So...we get to DC and go straight to get our luggage and go through customs. OF COURSE...there was a hold up here too. Nothing has been easy when it comes to travel. We were missing a bag and mine and Abbie's bags were still in London...Chandler's showed up in DC though. HA! Travis had to wait about 30 mins for them to bring his bag. He got us put on the standby list...we were the top 4! PRAISE JESUS! Finally we got all our luggage that was coming and got through customs easily. We RAN to our standby gate to Chicago. Luckily the gate was REALLY close to where we were. We sat through all of the boarding and they announced that there were 4 spots on the plane! WE WERE SOOO EXCITED. We all boarded and when we got on...Travis realized that there wasn't an empty seat for him...they made him get off the plane. We felt horrible because we didn't want to split up. But Travis assured us that this was the best thing...that he'd get a hotel in DC for the night and leave EARLY in the morning to meet us in Chicago. We agreed. We were SO happy to get to go to Chicago tonight. During all of this...Gina's group got a flight from London straight to Chicago. They were going to be in Chicago a few hours before we were scheduled to get there. I was SOOOO TIRED on this flight that I fell asleep even before we took off. BUT...of course...there was a SCREAMING kid on the wasn't a baby...she was probably 3 or 4. I didn't have the best attitude about it! haha! The flight seemed to go REALLY quick. WE FINALLY get to Chicago and get a shuttle to our hotel for the night. The plan before all the travel mess ups was to get to Chicago AS A TEAM around 3:00 in the afternoon and spend the day in nice...and stay at the ALOFT hotel. Well...since we got there so late (midnight) we just went to the hotel to shower and CRASH! We lucked out because we each got our own rooms. They were SO NICE!!! I took an HOUR LONG SHOWER! It felt AMAZING!!! The only problem was that I didn't have my the only clothes I had were those in my carry on. I used shampoo and soap from the hotel. It wasn't too bad. I slept like a baby!!! Those beds were SO COMFY! GOOD NEWS...Rodney is on a flight now to Chicago and Clint and Chan are about to leave for DC...then Chicago. I think we will ALL make it on our original Chicago to Fayetteville flight...TOGETHER! HALLELUJAH! We all got to sleep in on Sunday morning. This was NICE!!! I was still so confused on the time so it was nice to be able to rest. Travis made it to the hotel EARLY this morning...we were glad that he got out on the early flight. I woke up around 9:30 and went downstairs to get the hotel breakfast! I was SO hungry that I ate SOOOO much. A sausage biscuit, cereal, and a bagel with strawberry cream cheese! YUMMM!!! It was DELICIOUS! I was STUFFED though. We left the hotel around noon and made it to the airport and through security. We all ate at Chilis. I was SO excited about this...but was disappointed because it wasn't great!!! I DID DRINK LIKE 6 DIET COKES THOUGH. I was sooo happy to have a fountain drink...that was COLD! haha! We all made our way to the gate where we met RODNEY!!! HE MADE IT!!! The only 2 we were missing were Clint and Chan! They were on the flight to DC...and would immediately board the plane for Chicago. We were nervous about them not making it...but guess what...THEY DID! YAY! I don't think I had ever been so excited to see them! :) I know they were EXHAUSTED! We all boarded our FINAL PLANE TOGETHER!!! I couldn't believe it!!! I sat by Chandler on the flight. We were ALMOST HOME...WOO HOO!!! I miss Africa SO MUCH...but one thing i won't miss is the TRAVEL!!! I definitely want to go back next year...but i'm hoping they'll have that direct flight from Atlanta to Addis worked out by then. That would save A LOT of headache! Well...guess what....WE JUST LANDED AT XNA! PRAISE THE LORD! We were greeted by everyone's family and friends. It was SO GOOD to see everyone!!! All of our luggage arrived...i was SHOCKED! And GUESS WHO I SAW AT THE AIRPORT...Frank Broyles!!! It's GREAT to be back in HOG COUNTRY!!! haha! (o yeah..the baseball HOGS swept Alabama this weekend...WOO PIG!) Well...I guess this ends the blog...thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed reading about our trip as much as we enjoyed the actual thing!!! If you have never gone on an international mission trip before I REALLY REALLY encourage you to do so. It is LIFE CHANGING!!! God changed my heart this week...I'll never be the same!!! THANK YOU LORD FOR THIS OPPORTUNITY!!! I can't wait for the next one! :)

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