Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Kenya: the flight

This is the tale of how a 23 hr flight, turned into a 50 hr nightmarish experience. That’s right, we more than doubled our flight time on the way to Kenya. How does that happen?

before we knew what was in store

Well, it starts with a thunderstorm. Fact: Planes do not land during storms when lightning is involved. We had already left our home state and made the 2.5 hr flight to airport X (name withheld to protect the guilt…er…innocent? J) Our layover was supposed to be 5 hrs. We thought this layover was pretty long. Little did we know how long it would become [insert sad background music here]. The plane was delayed for 3 hrs. This was not too bad because we could have still made our connecting flight. However, things went from bad to worse. The computers for airline Y froze/crashed/were unresponsive so our flight got cancelled at 12.30 a.m. You read that correctly, after midnight!!! To add salt to injury, we were told that we would need to come back at 4.00 a.m. in order to reconfigure flights for our trip!
We ended up spending the night on the cold hard floor of airport X with nothing but our jackets to warm us up. At about 3.30 a.m. we got in line to talk to an airline representative who was very lacking in compassion and customer service skills. She actually proceeded to tell us that the earliest flight she could get for us would be Monday…um…it was Saturday 4 a.m. and the earliest flight would be two days from then??? It was unbelievable! We asked her to check for alternative routes into Europe but she just would not do so. It was at this point that despair kinda started to set in.

3 hrs into our flight delay

To shorten the story, we talked to a different representative and thankfully got a flight to London leaving at 9.30 a.m. The catch? We would have to spend the night in that London airport and then catch a connecting flight the next day. At that point in time we were just ready to get out of airport X so we said yes! So we arrived in Kenya on Sunday at 10.00 p.m. whereas we were supposed to be there Saturday at 6.00 p.m.

Whew! It was tough and yes, I cried A LOT and we both probably slept a total of 11 hrs in that 50 hr period and we were both cold and worn out and at our wits’ end…you get the picture. However, during that time I did feel God prompting to look for the good in the midst of the bad (I am in the middle of reading Ann Voskamp’s “One Thousand Gifts” so I was hearing this message loud and clear!!) so here are a few things I was thankful for.

I'm glad I had a shoulder to lean on
Firstly, I did not go through this mess alone. MrH was with me! Just knowing that there was someone next to me and with me gave me strength not to have an utter breakdown. When I reached my breaking point and all I could do was cry, MrH was there to rub my back and whisper that we would get through this. On the other hand, when he reached his breaking point and was ready to turn back and go home, I was able to hold his hand, hug him and whisper back to him that we would be all right.  
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work:
If one falls down, his friend can help him up (Ecc. 4:9–10a)

Secondly, I truly was able to understand what some homeless people in our community go through. Ok it is not my first time sleeping on the floor but it definitely was the first time that I felt my circumstance was helpless. The first time I did not know for sure what the morning would bring (would we get a flight out of airport X? would we go back home? did that mean that I would not get to see my mom this year?) I pray that I always remember that.
Thirdly, I was reminded of all the things I take for granted: uneventful travel, a comfy bed, warm clothing, a good dinner and so MrH and I thanked God for all the times that we have traveled without a hitch!
Lastly, I think the delay made the meeting with my parents that much sweeter especially since I knew that we had come close to cancelling the trip.

All in all I came away more thankful than I had been going into the trip. Don’t misunderstand, I am not happy with the way we were treated at the airport but through this experience I can still see God teaching me somethings about myself and about Him. One must just look for the flowers in the thorns J

Be blessed!
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1 comment:

  1. I LOVE the title of your blog (and the header) it's so cute!!! I enjoyed reading your post too :)