Monday, 18 April 2011


A short list of things that are uncomfortable:

1. Being without city power for five days, which means five hot hot nights with no fan to provide a bit of breeze and white noise to block out the sounds of the bar across the street, where the party goes all night long, and the church on the other corner, where loud music alternates with screams...gotta love nightly exorcisms. It also doesn't help when the generator breaks down, and you are without power during the day as well. Poor Jeff has had a rough time of it these past few days, as this has been his life. Please pray for good sleep and some relief from the heat. Also, that we would get our letter already so he could come home!

Enough about Jeff, onto my lovely trip home:

2. Arriving at the airport too early, sticking out like a sore thumb, having all the guards stare at you while you know they are calculating how much they can demand in "special" exit fees...all while knowing you (foolishly) only brought fifteen extra dollars. Thankfully, the necessary palm-greasing only took ten.

3. Sitting in an airport "waiting room" that has no monitors, and realizing that you will have to rely on other passengers to make sure you get on the right bus (one takes a bus out on the tarmac and climbs stairs into the plane). Picking another passenger who speaks broken English, spending some time making friends so he can help you find your flight, and then having him confide that he missed yesterday's plane because he was too drunk to figure out boarding. Or, as he put it while motioning to his beer, "Yesterday I have so much beer, I forget airplane."

4. Making a new friend who speaks much better English and is able to direct you to your flight, but having him repeatedly mention how much he hopes he will see you again while asking about where you live and when you will come if that's at all likely.

5. Riding on an inter-Africa flight. They are loud, smelly, have wretched food (which I did not eat), and the bathrooms are unclean. Also, I heard the song "Runaway Train" at least three times, because apparently songs that were somewhat popular in 1993 should be blasted repeatedly on such flights...and that was pretty much the best music they played. On top of that, my personal headset port was broken so I couldn't watch the movie or listen to anything besides the in-flight music. Enough said.

6. After settling in for the long flight (Ethiopia to Rome to DC), being so so happy to be on an aisle of a three seat row with only one other person (on the other aisle) and going to sleep with the armrest up so as to take advantage of the middle seat, waking up to see that your aisle mate has changed sit right next to you so she can pile her stuff on the empty aisle seat. It should be noted that my new neighbor was not a small woman, and she had voluminous clothes that were all over me for the rest of the flight.

7. Falling asleep again, and waking up with said seat-mate's feet on top of you, because she has decided to lay across ALL THREE SEATS, including the one you paid for. (If you are wondering why I didn't say anything, she was really really old and spoke no English and I felt bad because she was so seriously old).

8. Having the above mentioned feet kick you while seat-mate dreamed.

9. Watching Little Fockers. Really, it was a terrible, terrible movie, but I was scraping the bottom of the in-flight entertainment barrel by then.

Ok, that's enough complaining. The trip was mostly just looonnnnnngggg. I am so done with traveling until we adopt again. I cannot tell you how thankful I was to get off the plane in DC. I was so tired of sitting I actually spent an hour of my layover walking back and forth between the D and C gates just stretching my legs. Then I bought a HUGE burrito and gorged on mediocre Mexican food...but it was so much better than nothing, and I was rather hungry by that point because I was not interested in most of the airplane fare, although the lasagna we picked up in Rome wasn't too bad.

I am so thankful for clean water and good food and all the comforts of home. We have it so good here in the US. I am fully aware that my list of uncomfortable things is the product of a very pampered life, generally speaking. Nothing like a little trip to the developing world to make you realize exactly how good you have it, and how infrequently you are uncomfortable.

1 comment:

Shawny said...

Glad you are home! On my inter-Africa flight I sat next to a mom with an almost 2 year old lap child that spilled everything she possibly could and the mom CHANGED HER DIAPER ON HER LAP. I was taking mental notes on that gem.