"MIND THE GAP"
Well...so far day 2 has been pretty eventful. We got to London at 10:45 a.m. London time (5:45 am central). I felt pretty rested and was really excited about getting to see the city. We got through customs with no problems and then went looking for somewhere to store our carry ons while we were out. We had about 9 hours before our next flight so we rode the underground (tube) to almost the farthest point to see some sights. I'm a touristy NERD so I was pumped about getting to take pictures of all the cool stuff. Big Ben was the first thing we saw....followed by the London Eye, Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace. I was hoping we'd get to see the changing of the guards but we didn't. I also thought the guards would be fun to see and take pictures with but we couldn't even get close. They weren't near as stiff and proper as I thought either. haha! We took lots of pictures and had fun as a team walking around. BTW...the exchange rate here is NO FUN! It makes everything you buy SO expensive. I think the rate was $1.00=1.68 pounds. I exchanged $60.00 and that was gone QUICK. I am a fan of the 1 pound coin though...the sound they make when you hit them together...haha...weird I know. We ate lunch at this neat little place called Little Frankies. Not as great of food as I would've hoped...but decent. I was starving by the time we ate because I missed breakfast on the plane this morning because I was asleep. So...this is where the day gets interesting...we get back to the airport about 3 hours before our plane was scheduled for takeoff. We unchecked our carry on bags and make our way to the ticket counter to get our boarding passes for Ethiopia. They told us in Fayetteville and Chicago that we couldn't get our Ethiopia boarding passes until London because they didn't do "e-tickets." WELL...come to find out...they (being United Airlines) didn't reserve us 12 tickets...they reserved us ONE. ONE! Under the name "Mr. Malawi Group." What kind of name is that? And WHO would actually think that was a legit name? At this point...United Staff (in the dept that we needed to help us) had already gotten off work for the day so there was nothing they could do. Clint had to call United in the US to try to figure out what happened and NO ONE seemed to give us a clear answer. It was all "he said, she said" stuff. The airline said it was the travel agents fault (but the funny thing was that we didn't have a travel agent..it was all booked directly through United). They said only one ticket was booked, yet...we paid a total of $28,000 for this "1 TICKET" they're talking about...really?! HAHA! So...obviously all this doesn't add up. The people at the desk were nice...but it was a stressful situation for everyone involved. They told us that the ONLY other flight going to Ethiopia (on Ethiopian Air) is tomorrow night around 10 pm. AND as of now...there are 29 seats available. Only problem...they couldn't book them tonight because they were "closed" and guess what...if we miss this flight...there are NO MORE on Ethiopian Air for a month. Anyway...we worked out hotel reservations in London (The Renaissance Hotel-REALLY NICE) where Abbie is my roomie for the night. Clint and Rodney are going to get up EARLY in the morning and try to figure out our ticket situation and we get to sleep in! YAY! This has been the longest day EVER! The 5 hour time difference has really messed me up. The best thing was coming back to the hotel and taking a nice HOT shower and having a comfy bed to sleep in...instead of a squished airplane seat. O yeah...i forgot to tell you my Chicago to London airplane story. So...i'm sitting by Abbie and I have a window seat (Which i love). It gets time to lean back the seats so the lady in front of me does...then I try...and mine WON'T BUDGE! It is straight up and down. The problem was that there was an infant carrier wedged up against my seat. Needless to say...I'm thankful to be able to stretch out to sleep tonight. As frustrating as it is that our flight got messed up, we know that this is in God's plan. HE IS IN CONTROL! Although we do miss one day in Malawi because of this...we got an extra hot shower and a nice bed to sleep in. I'm not gonna lie...there was a point today when the devil really got a hold of me and I wanted to turn around and go home BAD! My excitement for the trip went away because of the stressful travel situations. I know that God wants me in Africa...I know I was called to this trip...I'm trying to have a positive attitude and KNOW that this will ALL BE WORTH IT! Well..it's my bedtime now. It's only 6:00 pm back home which is weird to me. I miss everyone so much already. I didn't realize how attached I am to talking to them everyday and anytime I want to. I'm praying that the 3 time I turned on my phone to send an update text didn't charge me crazy money. I did get to do a little FB posting today so that was nice. 1 more thing before I forget...today on the underground, the Cheney's met a lady that was a believer already. She seemed like such a sweet woman. When we got ready to part ways they prayed over here. That was the sweetest thing and so encouraging to me. It puts things into perspective that THAT'S what we're here to do. Not for our own agenda but for HIS! Praying for a smooth day tomorrow...AFRICA...HERE WE COME! I HOPE! And o yeah..I miss Porkie! HAHA!