Friday began a little earlier than planned, waking around 5:30 a.m., Togo time, but it was the start to a good day. First there was a meeting with Chris Ampadu who is from Ghana and involved in training W. Africans regarding world view and its effects. It was a delightful time with him and I found out that his daughter attends Whitworth. Small world!
After that there were lots of goodbyes and I eventually got my luggage packed in time to depart for the airport at 5:30 p.m. The drive only took 20 minutes, a noticeable difference from Freetown and the requisite ferry ride. It took a little longer than I anticipated to get through checking in and the various security check points, but it went smoothly. Then it was time to sit and wait for the 9:30 p.m. flight to Brussels. The time went quickly as there were 15 of us leaving on the same flight, so conversation kept us occupied.
The flight to Brussels took just over 6 hours, and then I had a 5 hour layover. I was hoping for some good sleep on a couch, but could only get in two 30 minute naps. Oh well, a short coffee and a muffin from Starbucks and I was good for a while (did you know you can buy a short coffee from Starbucks in Brussels, but not in Dallas?). The next leg of travel was an 8-1/2 hour jump over the “pond” to JFK. That got old pretty fast and I did get some cat naps in on the flight, but head-bobbing takes the fun out of napping! (Or was it the second George Clooney movie of the trip that did me in???)
At JFK the lines at customs were pretty long and the four of us still traveling together had a bit of a wait. On the way to the gate for our connecting flights a young woman noticed my shirt and asked if we worked for Mercy Ships. When I said yes she said she followed M.S. on Facebook and prayed for us daily. A sweet gift from the Lord.
After saying goodbye to Pete, the three of us caught the next flight to Dallas and were grateful to not have any weather delays or problems. After a 2 hour layover we made the short hop to Tyler where Sue and Kaarin picked me up to make the last 20 minute drive home to finish off the 34 hour trip. A nice finish to a long trip.