Sunday, July 16, 2006

Home Sweet Home

That's right. I'm home.

The trip home was much more uneventful than the trip out. Our (Sarah and I) plane left Conakry at 6:30pm. We got to Dakar, Senegal at about 7:30pm. Once we went through customs and picked up our luggage, we had to idea what to do. We had an eight hour layover and didn't know where to go. The airport was a little scary because we are two young white girls who obviously don't have a clue what they're doing. I tried to keep a confident face on, but I'm sure people could see right through it.

We walked into an open area of the airport and tried to figure out what to do. This man in his forties walked up to us and started speaking to us in English. I did my best to ignore him and make it obvious that we had no interest in talking to him. At first, he said welcome. I said thank you and turned around and talked to Sarah. He told us that there was some safe room to put our luggage in and I said no thank you. Then he told us to come up to his shop. I said no thank you. He really didn't get the hint that we didn't want to talk to him and that we weren't going to follow him any where. After standing next to us for about ten minutes, he gave up and tried to talk to another girl.

We found a small cafe and bought a big bottle of water so they wouldn't kick us out. We talked, read, played Uno, made up other card games with the Uno cards, drank water, and watched other people come and go. This lasted for a seemingly unending six hours. At about 12:30am, we went to check in for our flight.

The bathroom was interesting in the airport. To get there, you walk down a hallway and then down a flight of stairs. At the bottom of the stairs, you can go to the right or to the left, but they are not marked for men or women. On the left, there were low sinks that we think were meant for washing. On the right were the toilets for both men and women. The toilet was African style...no toilet paper. That's what your left hand is for. Gross!! So I brought some tissue paper and chose the first stall that I saw. It wasn't really a stall. It was like a small room. The door didn't have a handle or a lock and it didn't shut to well. So I just forced it closed. I didn't think about that action very well. When I went to open it, I couldn't. Since I had pushed it closed to hard and it didn't have a handle, all I had was a small hole to put two of my fingers in to try to pull it open. When I couldn't open it, I panicked a little because I didn't know how I would get out. After about four or five tries, I eventually pulled it open and quickly walked back up to the cafe. Hand sanitizer comes in very handy here!

We went to check in at about 12:30am. That all went well. The plane left at about 4:30am which was an hour and a half late. The trip from Dakar to New York City was seven hours long. I slept a total of maybe an hour. I watched a couple movies and TV shows. We got into JFK at 7:30am (it's four hours earlier in NY than in Dakar).

When we got off the plane, we met two other girls who were also coming back from mission trips in Africa. One was in Swaziland and the other was in South Africa.

We picked up our bags, went through customs and went on our way to check in for our last flights. Her to Pittsburg and me to Las Vegas. I went into deja vu...we got lost!

We asked people where to go and followed the signs to the best of our abilities, but we still got lost. We went to the check-in area that all of the airlines are in, but of course, Delta has its own special area. So we took the Airtrain to Terminal 3 and eventually found the Delta check-in. We stood in line for about 20 to 30 minutes and realized that we were in the line for International flights not Domestic flights. So we walked across the street and finally found where we were supposed to be. I got up to the ticket counter and, finally, something good happened!

The flight I was booked on did not leave until 7:30pm. That meant about an eleven hour layover. No fun! But the ticket lady offered me a seat on the 12:30pm flight! I got so excited! There was one small catch...it costs $25. I didn't know if I had that much money. All I had was $23. So I borrowed $2 from Sarah and saved myself seven boring hours!

So now, I'm home!

Being home comes with mixed feelings. It feels so good to see family and friends, but I really miss Guinea. I used to think the scenery here was pretty with the mountains and everything. Boy, was I wrong! It's so ugly! But I will stay here until God tells me to go again...which could be sooner than I think! Septermber maybe??? We'll see!

I'm going to try to get pictures up and stuff. I have about 900 pictures so I have lots of sorting to do. I'll let you all know where I put them.

Even though I'm home, I would still really like it if you prayed for me...I really need to decide if I'm going back to school this semester. There's a possibility with Invisible Children that I could pursue instead of going to school this year. Please pray that God would show me which way to go.

1 comment:

Sara Myers said...

Welcome Home, Sarah!!!! We've been out of town and just go home ourselves (only went as far as Montana - not Africa - LOL) I can't wait to see you and give you hugs and hear your laugh! Thank you for your blog - it has been great to follow along with you. Wow! six weeks went by soooo fast. I know how you must feel as if you're in a time warp - please take time to rest and pray and get your whole self back home, as I'm sure your heart is still in Africa, before you make any decisions. Pray and come in to talk with Bret and Chris for some good honest council about your next step. I know the pull to return immediately is so strong, and I know your heart is overflowing with the need to be there and to help NOW. But think how much more you can do if you prepare yourself and give yourself time to grow and learn more. Now that you've been there you have a better idea of what you need in order to be useful...maybe you don't go back to college to pursue a specific degree (yet) but you return to take the courses of study that directly impact the skills you need for your mission work. God has kept you so busy the last couple of months, now it's time to rest a little and be quiet so that you can hear what He has to say to you.
Praying for you.....love sam ><>