20 September 2011
Hello my readers!
So I wrote my last post in India and haven’t posted since and boy has a lot happened. I’m sorry! I have wanted to write and I just have not had the motivation. Let me share what has been going on in my life.
We started our travel day on August 30 at 6pm, New Dehli time. We all gathered in the lobby of the hotel we were staying at for final debrief. (Final debrief was a blast by the way, we all got together as a squad, saw our squad leaders whom we hadn’t seen since the end of May at the Kenya debrief, minus Lauren who is out on her third world race squad leading the x squad.) We took the bus to the airport for our last bus ride as a squad and arrived at the airport around 7:30pm. We set up our stuff in a giant pile per usual and had some time to kill. I don’t think we were able to check into security until 10:30pm so we had time to play cards and get some food. Once in the terminal we had 4 hours to kill, with over 60 people you need to be really ready for your flight. I knew we were going to be sitting for a while so I spent time walking up and down the moving walk ways. Team WoW got together for the final time on the race and we talked about what we were planning to do for the first couple days home. It was after 1pm and we were tired and ready to be home so it wasn’t as sad and sentimental as I would have expected our final meeting to be.
We boarded the plane around 2:30am and off to Frankfurt, Germany we went. We flew 7.5 hours and I was only able to sleep about 3 hours, but from what I remember the food was good. It was weird when we got to Frankfurt because for the first time in about 8 months (when we were at LAX airport in Los Angeles traveling between Central America and Asia) we were surrounded by primarily white people and we didn’t know them! It was also strange being in Germany since it was the only country we had been in where the USD was worth less than the local currency. We only had a couple hours to kill in the airport. I tried to start saying some goodbyes because I figured that it wouldn’t be possible when we got to JFK airport in New York. I tried to say goodbye to my buddy Becca and tears came to my eyes and I realized it was not yet time to say goodbye. Our flight was around 9am (I don’t actually remember when it was but that sounds about right) and so we had started a new day and I only had three hours of sleep, yay!
I sat by Rebecca on both flights…Rebecca Weaver and Addie Weaver, teammates for eight months and travel buddies for many a flight. I had a lot of fun making Weaver jokes and references with her this year. I grew up not knowing any Weaver’s outside of my family and Rebecca grew up knowing many, so I seemed to think these jokes were a lot funnier than her.
I watched about three or four movies on our flight to America, I don’t remember all of them, but it seemed to help reacclimate me into American culture and catch up on some pop-culture that I had missed out on. We landed in New York around 1pm and had a connecting flight to catch to Atlanta at 2:50pm – Bringham and I ran to customs along with several other squadmates who were also going to Atlanta. Then we all had to wait for our bags to come and by the time they did our whole squad had joined us – I guess we didn’t need to run. It took a while for our bags to come and we ended up missing our flight. But that was a blessing in disguise because I was able to say goodbye to everyone on our squad and to get out of the terminal and see Mama C and Pappy and say goodbye to them as well. There were about 15 of our flight to Atlanta and we were scheduled for the 2:50pm flight and the one after and since we missed the first one we all got to fly home on the second flight.
Several of us, including myself, were flying standby and it was nerve-wrecking for a bit but God is good and allowed us to all get on. In fact there were a ton of seats open so the anxiety was unnecessary – as it always is. The nerves were extra high because at this point we were all ready to be home. I noticed on the flight to Atlanta that my eyes were extremely red and I realized that it could be for several reasons: one, I had only slept three hours in the past 37 hours of travel; two, is that I think your eyes just turn red on international flights; three, I washed my face and got soap in my eyes; and four, I started crying as I said goodbye to the whole squad.
Bruce had just gotten off work and was able to pick me up at the gate! It was a blessing to see family right when I stepped off the plane. We headed to baggage claim and I was able to meet several of my team- and squad-mates’ families, I cried again, and then we were on our way home. It was so good to see and hug my mama when we got home and then roll around with the dog. The one thing I noticed when I went to bed that night and then woke up the next morning at 5:45am (jetlag is fun) is the slience. The silence was overwhelming and it wa something I hadn’t experienced in the past 11 months.
So that was the journey back to America. I plan on writing more blogs soon to let you know what I have been up to since being back to America, how I am adjusting to re-entry, and recap the trip by continent (thanks to Alana for that idea). I also want to put together a slideshow but may need some help in doing that. So, all that to say, There is More to Come, so please stay tuned!!Designed by Tim Sainburg from Brambling Design