Thursday, June 5, 2008

Back to Albania

One tall Caramel Frappuccino, two bites of a stale bagel, six airplane meals, three packs of trail mix, 2 fun-size butterfingers, 1 bag of pizza bagel bites, 4 bottles of water, and we’re finally back in Albania! Our travels got off to a rough start, as they usually do. Although I think we are rather experienced world travels, we ARE NOT experienced world packers. Every trip we seem to make the same mistake…waiting till the last minute to pack (and by last minute, I mean staying up ALL NIGHT the night before to pack.) You would think that we’d have this down by now, but no matter what side of the world we are on, we cannot seem to get this right! At the beginning of each flight, I always seem to curse materialism and try to figure out how I do better the next time.

Anyways, with the little sleep and major post-packing stress, I was in no condition to express my true love and emotions to those who were waiting so lovingly to send us off. Cheerfully, and running completely off of adrenaline and caffeine, I casually hugged the fam., and hopped in the car. Steve, however, had the opposite problem, and broke down the minute he said goodbye to his beloved dog. In my defense (as to not look coldhearted) I had my break down about a week earlier before going to visit my grandpa. Regardless, saying goodbye to friends and family is easily one of the hardest parts for us of missionary life.

So, we get to the airport and we’re told to wait in the United line. Half an hour later, we’re at the check-in desk being told to wait in the Lufthansa line. We get to the Lufthansa check in desk, where they are experiencing problems with our check in. Without any explanation for what is going wrong, we wait, and wait, and wait. The girl helping us calls someone else to help her, who calls someone else to help him (big sigh). By this point, Steve and I are nervously checking our watches. Finally figuring out the problem, we get our tickets, but are informed that our seats are in the back of the plane. “Fine,” I thought, “who cares where our seats are as long as we’re on the plane!”

Little did I know, but seats on the back of the plane means that our seats have shorter leg space, don’t recline AT ALL and are next to the bathrooms (gross). Oh well. It didn’t seem to matter much anyways because both Steve and I slept almost the entirety of flight.

More sleeping in the airport in Germany, more trouble checking in, Steve suffering a bad ear ache and we arrive in Greece, where, no big surprise…our luggage isn’t on the conveyor belt. Fortunately, the bags were transferred to a different terminal (which always seems to happen at this airport, and we’re on our way, again. We catch a taxi to the train station, where we lug over 200 lbs. of luggage across a busy street to the bus station for Albania. The men, Albanian speakers, seemed tickled to death that two Albanian speaking Americans were using their bus. I was tickled that I still remembered Albanian and that my head instantaneously shook no when answering yes. (Albanians shake their heads the opposite of Americans). In all we made it from Vacaville California to Korce Albania in about 28 hours…not bad!

So having made it safely back, we just have one more traveling hurdle to cross…jet lag! After futilely trying to sleep, getting back up and watching City Slickers at 2:00 am., I am writing this to all of you at 5:00am! Hope you enjoyed my early morning ramblings!


Randi said...

Welcome Home!

Nancy D said...

Thanks for the update and for adding me to the list. I will try to do better at keeping in touch.

Nancy Dutton

wignasty said...

hey why don't you get yourself a soda

Annette said...

Glad you made it home safely. It was great spending Saturday with you!