Saturday, March 16, 2013

2013 Trip: Day 1 (Lori)

We got up at 3 am to get ready for the airport. At 4 am we headed to pick up Carey Douglas. We then headed to JFK airport in NY. We arrived there just before 7 am. Tom pulled up to the curb to drop us off and say good bye. Carey,Benjamin, and I loaded 6 50 pound bags, 1 70 pound bag, and 6 15+ pound bags onto 2 carts and headed into the airport. We went to the Emirates counter, since they weren't en for another few minutes the lines were not long. The guy that checked us in was super nice and put everything through and didn't charge us anything extra. We then headed for breakfast knowing it would be a while before our flight. After breakfast we ran into Myndi, Glen, and Ty. Ty and Benjamin had fun being silly. After a while we said good bye to Glen and Ty and headed through security. We had no problem getting through security, unfortunately though we found out our flight was delayed by 2 hours. 2 hours is all we had between flights in Dubai. They kept promising us we would be alright. While waiting at the airport, we met a nice lady and her daughter, they were headed to Dubai. She asked about where we we going and what we were going to do. She then asked if she could make a donation, she gave me 20 Euro (about $26).

We soon boarded our 13 hour flight to Dubai. Emirates was great, they brought each child a blanket and stuffed animal, a book and colored pencils, kids meals, and even collected the kids to take pictures of them so they could remember the trip. We watched movies and ate. Benjamin never went to sleep.

When we landed in Dubai and got off the plane, there was an Emirates employee waiting for us. We were late and about to miss our flight. Dubai has a very large airport and we had to cover a lot of ground. We sprinted to elevators, escalators, through another round of security, on moving side walks, on a train, and much more. When we reached the gate it said closed, but they were waiting on us and let us through. I was carrying my 15 pound back pack, Benjamin's 15 pound back pack, and our 15 pounds of clothes for our trip. We are all tired, by the time we reached our plane.

We were late leaving, but at least we were on the plane. Our flight was great, it was a little over 4 hours. Emirates came around again taking pictures, this time of everyone. I asked them to take pictures of the 3 sleeping beauties, Benjamin, Carey, and Myndi!

When we landed in Addis Abbaba, we sailed right through Visas and customs. Exchanging money and luggage took a long time. After watching the carrousel go around it became obvious one of Myndi's bags were missing. It was a bag filled with camp supplies. 

While Myndi went to declare a missing bag, I went to have the other bags scanned so we could leave the airport. Security really gave me a hard time about my 200 hacky sacks, they thought I was smuggling drugs into the country. They tore apart a hacky sack, sniffed the pellets, bit the pellets, called over more security, and told me if I gave them soccer balls, chocolate, etc. that I could have my bags. I told them that I only had enough for the orphans. I had to fight to get my stuff. By this time they had detained me by 15 to 20 minutes.

We then met up with Josh, Brittney, and Zellalam to head to the guest house. We got to meet the rest of the team and found out that as a team we are missing 11 bags. We had team meeting and decided to head to Kombolcha Tuesday, hoping to get our bags Monday. We then headed to a traditional Ethiopian dinner. We were exhausted and slept well other than barking dogs and the speaker chants.

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