(Friday 10/28 to Saturday 10/29)
As the team gathered at the Spokane Airport, it was cool to see the two types of anticipation and adrenaline. The rookies’ anticipation of their first trip to Africa with the excitement of the unknown and the veterans eager to get back to Ethiopia and a ministry they love.
We immediately began the adventures of the Dan and the magical boarding pass and tripod case. The adventure lasted until we arrived in Addis when both Dan and “the case” arrived safely on the same flight.
Many of us were greeted going through security by a body scanner who asked us if we were missionaries and thanked us “for all we are doing.” He also said that though he can’t go with us, “we will all be together some day.”
A young lady security guard took one look at Josh and his Grandma Molly and decided that she needed to bypass the main line and go directly through to the screeners. Four of us were quite happy to join her family and skip the line. As we found our seats for the Seattle to Amsterdam leg, we learned that our careful seat selection efforts had become random and most teammates got to sit with new friends on the trip. No matter how you cut it, or how much food they bring, 9+ hours is a long flight.
On the Amsterdam-Khartoum leg (6+hours), I made a new friend with a 70-year-old Lithuanian lady psychiatrist who was headed to the African backcountry to “observe the tribes.” Her parents were lost during the Holocaust and she escaped to the U.S. “by private means” and worked in Boston for 40+ years. Never married, she now travels the world.
Things went smoothly during customs at Addis, in fact the customs worker directed our entire team to bypass the luggage search and x-ray lines! There was much rejoicing as when we met our African teammates as well as other team-members and Buck Frymier, our director of the Health Initiative for NCF.
We agreed in prayer as Mike prayed we arrived at King’s Hotel: we are all thanking the Lord for our safe travels and for the challenges that He will place before us during these next two weeks.
Team member Rachel with our Administrative Manager for Ethiopian Affairs (our Main Man on the Ground)
Please continue to pray. Today it is off to Church, then some relaxing and getting used to the the 10 hour time difference. Others of us get to start meetings.
Mike and Craig already conducted an hour long meeting last night with a Christian coffee grower in Djimma. It’s coffee harvest season here in Ethiopia.