(If you’re wondering what this is all about, I explain here.)
Monday, October 11, 2010
We were packed, ready, and had a whopping three or so hours of sleep under our belt. My brother Matt arrived very early to take us to the airport! We loaded everything into his car and headed out! I was co-pilot and unfortunately missed the parking garage at the airport, so we got to circle around the airport again to find where we needed to go. We were getting nervous about time. We had plenty, though. Honestly, I think we were just nervous about the day, period. Thankfully, check-in went fine. Our checked bags were primarily filled with formula and were over a little on the weight limit, but they allowed us to have 52 pounds per bag. Matt had an extra bag with him with a few more cans of formula, so we asked if we could throw one more can in and the guy let us. : ) Saying goodbye to Matt was hard, and I had more tears as we hugged him and left to head through security.
I was very nervous at the airport! This really was happening! Our flight was delayed and we were afraid we’d miss our connecting flight in DC. We sat there, checking our watch every two minutes or so. Honestly, there was a part of me that just wanted to go on home and forget it. Of course, the larger part of me knew we were in exactly the right spot.
Once we were on the plane, though, it felt like God was carrying us. I listened to a mix CD a friend had made on my iPod, and it was very comforting. I definitely felt peace about everything. Our first flight wasn’t too long and we landed in DC and found out that our next flight was only a few gates down. What are the odds? Thankfully, even though our first flight was late, we weren’t at risk of missing the one to Africa. We headed to check in for our next flight, and met one of the moms we were traveling with in the bathroom in DC. I had talked with her a couple of times by phone, and had a good idea that might be her. (Her giant carry on bags and her sweet southern accent gave her away!) It was so comforting to see her and we exchanged a big hug!
Ethiopian Air wanted to check Hubby’s carry-on because it was over their 15 pound limit. Yikes! We had carefully packed everything so that even if we never saw our checked bags again, we would be okay for the trip. Our carry-ons had all of our clothing, snacks, diapers, and some formula. Mine was over, too, but only by about 10 pounds. His was over by about 30 pounds. We “fought” for awhile to get to keep it with us but still pay the penalty. Thankfully, they agreed to let us do that. Best $60 we could have spent, just for the peace of mind! We settled in and met the other families traveling with us. They were such a nice group of people, and we were grateful to be able to make this journey with them!
We had a good but very long flight to Ethiopia. They played this Ethiopian music constantly – I liked it at first, but after hours of it, it got a little old. We watched some not so great movies. I enjoyed some quiet time (well, kid-free time anyways…my last for quite a while!) reading and listening to music. It was difficult to sleep on the plane, so I only slept in a couple of thirty minute segments or so. We spent one hour in Rome to refuel the plane, but we weren’t allowed off the plane. It would have been cool to see Rome, but I guess that will have to happen at another time. From Rome, we flew into Ethiopia. I was surprised; it looked very urban.
Our flights lasted over 28 hours, so stay tuned for our arrival in DRC! That came on 10/12/10!