"There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven." Ecc. 3:1

Photo credit to darlingbydesignphotography.com

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

"Ain't No Mountain High Enough, Ain't No Volcano Spewing Enough.....To Keep Me From Getting to You Babe."

It is 1:20 a.m. here in Addis Ababba Ethiopia. I am setting in the dark in our hotel room while everyone sleeps. As has become my habit, I fall asleep around 10:30 p.m. or 11:00 and wake up shortly after, not to fall back asleep until 3:00 a.m. or so. While Jody, Sydney, and Afewerk sleep I get on the laptop and eat Little Debbie snack cakes. I will probably gain 10 pounds by the time we get home. The Internet connection has been very poor and I have not been able to access the blog until now.

There is so much to say about our trip here so far. It has been a whirlwind beginning with our discovery late Thursday afternoon that a volcano in Iceland was causing flights throughout Europe to be canceled. We were scheduled to leave Friday morning for Nashville to fly out KLM through Amsterdam and then on to Ethiopia. We went to sleep on Thursday evening not knowing if we were going. I spent the better part of Thursday packing, pacing, and praying. We spoke to our travel agent who was in route to her aunt's funeral in California. She got back to us around midnight and said our flight status was still unknown, but it didn't look good. She advised us to get up and leave for Nashville as planned and we would figure something out once we got there. I fought back tears through all of this. I felt that if I started crying I would not be able to stop. The culmination of trying to get all of our things packed and ready as well as making sure the children we were leaving behind were cared for and the stress of this volcano (whoever heard of volcanoes in Iceland anyway) was more than I could hold. I couldn't stand the thought of us not getting here for our Embassy Date. If we missed our date we would be postponed until sometime in May.

We woke up early Thursday and persevered not knowing if we were actually leaving or not. At 6:45 we got Carson off for school and at 8:30 Jody was putting the last of our luggage in the car and mom was coming for the other kids. At 8:31 our travel agent calls. Our flight is cancelled, however she has booked us on another flight to leave on Saturday. She assured us we would still make it in time for the embassy appointment. Our new flight would land Sunday night in Ethiopia at 7:oo p.m. So we shut the car door, sent my mom home, and resolved to leave the next day.

The beautiful part of this is that this was also the day my family was scheduled to move my grandaddy from his home into assisted living. My grandaddy agreed to go, but was obviously sad and unsure. We decided to head to Murray and help with the move. It was also his 86th birthday. We spent the whole day with him helping set up his new apartment and celebrating the life of this man we all love so much. By the time we arrived home that evening, we were exhausted but our hearts were full. It was truly a great day!! There was a lot of "good" in not leaving for Ethiopia like we had anticipated. I wouldn't trade that day for anything!

So, we get up on Saturday and leave as planned. You can see that in the picture. We arrive in Nashville and are told by the ticket agent that our new flight will not be going because no planes were allowed to fly through Rome (our flight had a scheduled stop there for fuel). My heart began to pound and I thought my head might explode. We asked United Airlines to allow us to continue our flight to Washington D.C. and we would figure out the rest from there. They refused. We called our travel agent again who was now walking in the door of the funeral for her aunt. She said she would call us back as soon as the funeral was over, obviously her hands were tied at this point. I remember standing there at the United check in and praying. "Please Jesus, I want your will to be done, but I do not understand. Please help us." About that time the check in agent called Ethiopian airlines and was assured that the flight was on as scheduled. Apparently the flight system had not been updated yet. At that very point the computer screen changed and we were allowed to proceed on. He told us later that he had turned away 15 people before us that morning with international flights through Europe. We were the first that had gotten cleared!!!

I will post the next phase of our journey later, but you can see in the other picture that Syd and I were very happy to see that Ethiopian airplane loading up our bags for the next leg of the trip.

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Are These Kids All Yours? said...

So excited that you made it- we were all PRAYING FOR YOU!!!!!!!!!! YEAH!!!!!!!!! Can't wait to hear more - when you can :)

Bonner Family said...

YEAH!!! I'm so glad you guys made it!!!! I can't wait to see your pics of you and AJ!!! Praying for a great time while you are there and for safe uneventful travels home!!

The Stiffs said...

I can't tell you how happy I am to hear every little bit of this trip. I know all about those pesky volcanoes in Iceland. I'm praying for safe travels back home. He is gorgeous. He already looks so healthy and happy. We are so excited for you guys.