Disclaimer: all of these journal entries are taking place via the wordpress app on my iPad. So, please excuse typos and weird spellings of stuff. Yada Yada Yada.
I also am necessarily able to have an actual Internet connection as I write, so many of these are not written in real time.
Preparing for this trip has definitely been a difficult and educational experience. It’s also personally challenging. The fundraising is stressful, packing is tough, and the shots. Oh, the shots. If you know me, you know I am no fan of needles. Well, I think I had to get somewhere in the neighborhood of 8 shots. Then there’s the pills for typhoid fever and malaria. (I just started taking the malarial pills two days ago and I’ve been told the side effects are awful. So far the only side effects I’ve felt are dizziness and my stomach hurts a little bit. I’ve heard you’re supposed to get really vivid strange dreams. Well, I have vivid strange dreams anyway, so I don’t know if I see a difference there).
Through this whole process I have relied so heavily on the support of my family, friends, church family, teammates, my amazing boyfriend (who now happens to be my FIANCE!), and of course, God.
I’ve found myself praying a lot more lately. And doing it in a lot more honest way. What do I mean by honest? Well, praying is such a personal thing for people. That actual time that you spend one-on-one with God can be very intimidating for people. Am I saying the right things? Am I praying correctly? What should I pray for? Did I cover all of my prayer bases? I used to think I was a “terrible prayer” – until one day about 6 months ago, I started literally laughing out loud when I realized that’s what I thought. God doesn’t care how you pray, what you say, or what big words you use… God just wants to hear from you. YOU. The real you. Not the you that only uses churchy-jargon in prayer. It seems disingenuous. So I thought that if I really wanted to develop a relationship and use God in my life, that’d I’d have to start being Molly. So, I started praying like I would confide in a best friend or family member. Just honestly speaking about what I’m grateful for, what worries me, and what I hope for. So far it’s been really good and I’ve felt such a difference in how I deal with life.
Well, I say all of that to set up the fact that I’ve used all of that support and that prayer to prepare for today. The long long day that is today.
Our first flight left RDU at 6:15pm and it was 8 hours of being cramped, sitting next to a guy who smelled of a mixture of cheese and farts. He also kept watching crazy sci-fi movies on his PSP. And every little bit I’d glance over and some alien or something was getting their head sliced in half.
Needless to say, I didn’t sleep.
We got to London / Heathrow at 6:55am local time (so like 2am RDU time). We had to go through security again and I got patted down. That was awkward, for all parties involved.
But by that point we were all so sleepy and loopy, everything was funny. I had a good solid 5 min laugh over a comment about David Hasselhoff. Ah, good times.
Then, during our layover we desperately looked for plus to charge things that start with i. I found one behind a terminal counter that wasn’t being used. So I stood behind it and charged, and despite the fact that I was holding my pink pillow, charging a pink-cased iPad, and had awful plane head and bloodshot eyes, people still kept coming up to me at an empty terminal counter asking for directions and seat changes. After the 10the request or so, I started saying random things in my British accent. Funny for me, they looked at me strange and walked away.
On a side note: I’d like to say that Boingo wireless is a ripoff. I was going to splurge the $8 for the 30 days of wireless… Went through the whole process, and then boom, you need to download the Boingo app from the app store to connect. Well you can’t connect to the app store if you’re not connected to the internet. What a sham. I will be challenging that $8.
Finally we boarded our Kenya Airways flight at 10:00am London time (5am RDU time) and holy moly there are a lot of people on this flight. Like seriously. This plane is massive. The sheer mechanics / physics of a machine this large with this many people is able to fly so fast and be in the air is amazing to me. (Don’t let the present tense of that confuse you, because I’m typing from this flight currently, but this probably won’t be published until I am not on this flight. You know).
Anyway, this fight is cramped, I am in one of those middle section aisle seats where it is basically impossible to sleep without waking up with some incredibly horrid cramp in your leg, neck, etc. I think I’ve slept a total of an hour. I’m tired. Really tired. We are scheduled to land in Nairobi at 9:45pm local time (2:45pm RDU time).
Oh, I should mentioned that the curry chicken, black beans, and rice dinner on this flight was surprisingly delicious. The dry and tough “brownie” was not.
It’s times like this when you’ve been traveling for almost 24 hours, you’re tired, hungry, etc… That patience and perspective are so desperately needed. Here’s hoping I can keep both of those things in the forefront of my mind.
All for now and much love.
1am Kenya time addition: getting out of the airport took forever. We landed at 9:15 pm local time (2:15pm RDU) and it took upwards of 2-3 hours to go through customs and get our Visas. Brutal.
We met out 410 Bridge leader David Muchai who the Newhope group had last year. He is awesome. Got to our hotel “The Strand” and we were greeted with bottled water and delicious passion fruit drinks. Mmmmm. So good. The hotel is more like a hostel, but we will only be here for the night. We get up really early tomorrow to head 3 hours north to the community.
Okay, all for now for real this time.