Monday, October 17, 2011

"This Is Africa"

Um...where do I start.  As expected and predicted, there are a lot of words flowing freely right now.  I must apologize for not blogging during the last 10 days.  There was a severe lack of access to the Internet in the African bush.  I expected to do more blogging while gone.

When traveling to Africa, you must ride in a airplane.  When you gather 250+ people in an Triple 7 for 16 hours, people do crazy things like make words with their fingers and mouths like "LOL", "WOO", "WOW".  There's no explaining that expect for boredom sets in and let's be honest...the "new" of riding on a plane for um-teen hours has worn off.  This really happened as I was sitting in the middle of an Andy-Andi sandwich.  Needless to say it was entertainment at it's best.  

One cool thing that the airplane offered though was continuous movies for free with your own ear buds so you could get a constant feed of entertainment.  You could also keep constant vigilance of your travel log, where we were at any moment with the same screen.  Yes, even if it was over the Bermuda triangle or in the middle of the Atlantic.  That was more than I expected as I didn't know that was possible.  I am still looking for that hidden camera loaded with the international GPS that tracked our journey over the sea.

Speaking of aeronautics, it has been confirmed that when traveling from the Americas to the continent of Africa, you do in fact fly that distance in an arc, following the curvature of the earth. case you don't know it, the earth is round.  It took me to the middle of the week to figure this one out.  I asked a lot of people this confusing question, and only Mr. Randy the Missionary in Swaziland, was able to give the correct answer with certainty.  Here's how it works, in case you too are wondering.  Aviators base their flight plans on altitude.  They must maintain a certain altitude to travel safely, efficiently and for the comfort level of their passengers.  Therefore, because the earth's surface is round, it is necessary and imperative that pilots base their flying altitude on the surface of the earth for their travel plan.  It's a big question that you think about on a 16-hour flight to Africa.  I know...that was more than what you expected from me.  Believe me when I say, I know things.

Your internal clock gets messed up when you travel too especially when traveling overseas.  Your days become nights and your nights become days.  It's almost like I reverted back to being a toddler in a sense that I didn't sleep much and was so busy that I couldn't rest.  You should be thankful for that.  I was able to put pen to paper in my travel logs and do a lot of updating.  Those thoughts are coming as I unpack them and assimilate my words.   There are more posts than I expected.

In Africa, there is a saying "This is Africa".  People say that to explain away the different, the unique, and the things happen and don't happen.  It's the default for understanding the common and the mysterious.  For instance, if this doesn't make sense, then you would just say as you were reading ..."Oh well, she's been to Africa."  That's how easy it can be to explain away your conundrums.  

But most of all and speaking of more, I saw some things that hurt me.  I saw hurting people.  I saw happy people.  I saw hope.  I saw God at work in each and every turn.  I experienced God throughout the entire journey and that is what I want to share with you.  This African mission trip isn't over.  It's just beginning.  And I am excited about the more ahead.

When setting out on a journey such as a mission trip there are expectations.  But I didn't have that many.  I know that God likes with to work with the open heart to do His best work.  Suffice it to say that I left with the intention of leaving my footprint on Swaziland, Africa, but instead Africa left a footprint on me.   Expect more. 

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