Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Day One and a Half - The Journey There

Day 1 and ½ – The Journey There
We’re off. Sixteen of the 18-person team jumped on a flight from Houston to London Heathrow. Chrissie and Tiff were the advance recon team who had left on Sunday and had already arrived safely in Romania. The first part of the trip seems to have had no major mishaps except for the Ayoubi’s turning up to the airport late, the driver from the Parking Spot giving me a tour of the airport grounds because he forgot which terminal I was going to and my daughter forgetting to bring any, yes any, toiletries. I am not sure how she will smell or look at the end of the 10 days but I’ll try to get most of her pictures in early on in the trip while people will still stand next to her.
Just like last year all but one of the team is suffering for the cause crunched up in World Traveller class (i.e. coach) for the 8 ½ hour flight. Stuart once again is in business class. Mind you it’s not all luxury up there. If he drops his pen and it rolls under the seat in front of him he has to unbuckle and get up and walk to pick it up. All I have to do is contort my head and neck down towards my knees which subsequently blocks my view of the floor. Then, in sweeping motions across the floor (which I’ am sure is very clean) reach out my hand until it bumps into the pen, but I don’t have to get up or even unbuckle.
As much as I travel I still never get used to the oddities of being locked up with a couple of hundred people in a container that feels like it should only have 30 people in it. There was the baby crying incessantly but it did eventually stop. Then there was the man watching the movie who seemed to have forgotten he had headphones on and was laughing out overly loudly. The one saving grace was that he drowned out the crying baby. Finally, because of the lack of space it is hard to do much. My eyesight is getting worse nowadays and it seemed too hard to get my bible far enough away from my eyes so I could read my Bible. Using the PC was an even greater challenge as it has to rest somewhat on the table, somewhat on my belly and with the screen tilted at an awkward angle so that the seat in front doesn’t break the screen. Somehow I don’t think Stuart had the same issue. Mind you because he was lying down flat I don’t think he used a PC. Luckily for me my in-flight entertainment system was broken so I couldn’t even watch a movie to pass the time. Sleep was the answer if I could just get my knees unwedged from the seat in front.
We arrived in Heathrow on time and went through the connecting security check. Well that was after I had lost my boarding pass and had to queue up to get a re-print. With typical British efficiency they directed me to a counter which had no-one behind it. I went back out to inform the lady that no-one was there. Her response “There should be.”
Well thank you for that help. As more and more people came along for their boarding passes they all asked me whether there was anyone at the desk. Being first in line I passed on the message “There should be”. I finally decided it would be quicker to empty my bag and find the original boarding pass which is what I did.
We all made it through for our flight to Bucharest and in the terminal we bumped into Sorin’s new wife, Trisha, who was on our flight. Actually she recognized us, not sure how she did except for 16 people in red shirts. I think most people from our team slept on this flight and once again the flight was on time.
We finally arrived in Romania 16 hours after leaving the US and now our final travel was a short drive to our hotel in Bucharest. This year we have rented three vans which are actually very nice. However, the directions were a little more challenging but after 3 stops and asking directions twice we made it to the hotel. The first guy who gave us directions was telling us to go right and right and for a while I was able to follow him but then when he started to use his hands as well as give the direction and I realized he didn’t know his right from his left. Somehow we made it a little closer to the hotel. The second guy was French and I am convinced he purposely gave us the wrong directions which took us down a dead end. As I told my van load of people “Never trust a French person!”
The hotel in Bucharest is the same one as last year and is very nice. In fact Dani is in the same room as last year which she shared with Izzy (who isn’t here this year). Just like last year we had dinner at the hotel – it was the restaurant with “crap” on the menu which I think is either carp or is in fact a fish called crap. Everyone enjoyed the food except for Hannah who ordered a mushroom soup that was really orange soup with mushrooms in it. Then she saw our Caprese Salad – tomatoes with mozzarella cheese - and ordered that but got tomatoes with shredded cheese on top. After that she found it easier to eat from her Mom’s plate. To finish up we had our first Papanosh and it did not disappoint.
If you followed last year you will have seen dogs being a regular topic on the blog and it has started all ready. Savannah found a dog who found some attraction to her, maybe because of that “no toiletries” issue, and it followed her around. I think we have our new Izzy (who isn’t here this year).
Well the fatigue is setting in. Time to shut down.
Isaiah 6:8 – And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?" Then I said, "Here am I! Send me.” As we begin our Missions we pray that God will remove the uncleanliness from our lips so that all we say will bring glory to him.


  1. How about I just eat off of everybody's plates from now on? We save lei, I won't mistakingly order a nasty soup, everyone wins!

  2. How about I just eat off of everyone's plates from now on? We save lei, I won't mistakingly order a nasty soup, everyone wins!

  3. I'm in tears Giles... I can just see your contorted body reaching for your pen trying to underline a verse from the Bible that you can read!

    So blessed to hear you finally made it to the hotel. Michalia and I are jealous! It's so beautiful there! We are following and praying!!


  4. Redrum!Redrum! That room was freaky but we got a kick out of it (brown chicken brown cow)! Can't believe that was a year ago and that you guys are right back in the same place without moi! Poor hannah...I envision issues with the food for the next 10 days but she will survive on tomatoes and cucumbers...they are the bessst! Give the Romanians and the Romanian puppies hugs from me!!! P.S. Why are you always picking on the French? Are you jealous?