A missed flight, friends gained, time lost

prayer time en route

This post was written while we were still in Chad, Africa.

I missed my flight back to Abéché! I lost track of time, and no one gave me a ride to catch the flight. Oh well, everyone has to miss at least one flight if they are going to live here. I’ll definitely be ready for next time. So I had to ride in a pickup truck and paid a little extra to get a front seat. I ended up sitting in the market for five hours, which was great for friendship building; but it held up my schedule. I had used up the money I had brought with me, and one of my new friends bought me a soda. Never tasted one better!

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Our return trip to Abeche

well water before Abeche

This post was written while we were in Chad.

Today was our trip to Abeche, from Mongo! This trip was the result of five months of planning and prayer. We were so glad to make it here at last!

Sharon is still recovering from her illness, and from a busy, big day of preparation yesterday. I started yesterday off by refilling our water supply from the well in the courtyard. This involved throwing a bucket with a roped tied to it down the well. It was difficult for me to get the bucket to tip into the water so it could fill up. I didn’t realize how heavy a bucket full of water is when you are pulling it back up! After many successful attempts, I obtained about 65 gallons of water, and it took me until 11 AM due to my lack of experience. So, that’s why our friends, the Avileses, are so careful with water!

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How to “Overnight” successfully in Cairo with EgyptAir

Don't do what I did

overnight in Cairo with Egyptair [photo: comandir.com]

When you fly through Cairo and your flight leaves the day after you arrive, EgyptAir generously puts you in a hotel.  Some forums suggest that those staying 24 hours or more may tour the pyramids, but I cannot confirm this.

Helping your luggage to arrive at its destination

overnight in Cairo with EgyptairWhen I checked in my suitcase at the beginning of my flight, the woman at the check-in counter suggested that I should check my bag in all the way to Cairo and pick it up there.  With what happened later, I believe that it would have been less risky for me to check it in all the way to my destination and have it ready to go on board the plane the next day.  I could have had a lock on my luggage, and I believe that the baggage team in the Cairo airport is honest enough to leave my bag alone until it got on the flight the next day.  You may trust them less, and if you do, be sure to keep your baggage claim ticket in a place where you can find it quickly.

The Egyptair Baggage Claim area lost-luggage-warehouseWhen you get off your airplane and into the hallway, follow the baggage claim signs.  As you do, you will pass a desk with the sign “Transit” on it.  If you have luggage to pick up, walk past this sign and take the escalator downstairs to claim your luggage.  But don’t follow the crowd out into the arrival area via the customs check; take the elevator and go back upstairs to the transit desk.

What to do if your baggage is missing in Cairo

If your luggage is missing, quickly bring your baggage claim ticket to the baggage claim office marked Star Alliance.  The sooner you can get there before the other customers, the quicker you will be served.  If you are behind a large crowd in the Cairo Airport, go to the middle of it and push forward.  If you stand on the side to push forward, you are more likely to be the last person assisted.

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A Wild, Exhausting Journey through the Sand

I will look up to the hills

On Saturday, as we traveled back from Iriba, we took a wrong turn, and found ourselves headed to Adré. Mind you, the road wasn’t so bad; however, it was disconcerting to drive 30 miles on a road that led 90 miles away from our destination. We arrived in Adré at 8 PM, and in Abéché at 11:45 PM. When we arrived in Adré, I decided to keep going; we didn’t know where to find a guest house, or if they would even have a place for us.

Without road signs to guide us on the road, we used the GPS that we’ve had for about a decade now, thanks to our friends at Lebanon Assembly of God! Because we knew where we were going, we stayed the course rather than bolt on a country road in panic.

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Don’t let terrorism keep you from traveling overseas

All it takes is a little awareness of your surroundings

Not all Muslims are terrorists (source: outernationalist.net)

How long have you been putting off your dream trip to your favorite international destination?  You always wanted to travel, but, with the threat of terrorism, you wonder if it’s safe to do so.

Every day you wait, you are missing out on some amazing experiences; the self-confidence that comes from accomplishing what seems to be the most “impossible” life goal of all.

The slothful man says, “There is a lion outside, I shall be slain in the streets!” (Proverbs 22:13)

The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion. (Proverbs 28:1)

Don’t let the threat of terrorist attacks keep you from pursuing your dreams.  Now is the time for us to lay aside the paranoia, and travel again.  While everyone else is still waiting to see what will happen next, you and I can take advantage of great prices for travel and lodging overseas.

Like Megan, I feel baffled by the New Yorker who is afraid to travel to Paris because of terrorist attacks.  And yet, to avoid being mugged, robbed or attacked, New Yorkers take common sense measures to stay safe.

In the same way, by following a few steps when you travel, your risk of being caught up in a terrorist attack overseas can be so reduced that you are far more likely to be struck by lightning than to face an act of terrorism.

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