5/13/2013We left campus early that morning. It was cold and cloudy in Tulsa. Our plane was Minnesota bound. We knew as we boarded the plane, that we would have to rush through the Minneapolis airport because we only had a 30 minute layover before our international flight.
Our flight landed in Minnesota just as we heard the final boarding call for our flight to Amsterdam. The flight attendant on our previous flight had shown us a map of the airport and warned we would have to run to the gate because it was all the way on the other side of the airport.
Our group went as fast as we could with all our belongings. There was our Uganda team of 8(Isaiah had to take a later flight), and 2 other ORU teams adding up to about 30 people headed for the Amsterdam flight, so we assumed that they would certainly hold the plane for that many people.
But we heard the announcement that the gate was closing for the flight. Rashad, Mariah, and Jen handed us there stuff, then went zooming through to get to the gate. We all picked up our pace a bit. When the rest of us got to the gate, Mariah told us we were lucky they ran ahead, because the plane was about to leave without us.
There were three columns of seats across the plane. I was in the middle seat of the middle column; the absolute furthest seat from the window. So I did not see any of the scenery along the 9 hour flight, therefore I knitted and listened to music instead.
We arrived in Amsterdam, and 2 hours later Isaiah joined us. We all enjoyed pizza, and several hours of layover. Some saw there was a McDonald's and wanted to order some. I thought a nice fudge sundae sounded good. When I looked at the menu, what cost only $1 in America, cost $3.20 in Amsterdam. So I decided that was one junk food I could live without.
Once we boarded the plane for Rwanda, we had to go through the extensive security again. A man said I had to throw away my knitting, which I had been working on for a year. I just about cried when he said that, but I tried to stay calm and asked for his supervisor, whom said I was alright keeping it.
John wasn't as fortunate as me though. He was told he had to throw out is contact solution. He told them, "But it was ok with American security."
The woman just leaned in and said with a cold tone, "In case you haven't realized, this isn't America."
On the plane to Rwanda, we met three other groups who were all coincidentally from Tulsa.None of us were connected, but of all places, we met in Amsterdam! We had a 1 hour layover in Rwanda. There we got to talking to a US military man, who was being sent to train Ugandan military how to fight forces that were stealing children, taking them to Somalia, and making them child soldiers there.The man was a father of two, married, and also grew up in Tulsa.
After an hour layover, the plane took off again. At that point we were Uganda bound... We had taken 3 hours to fly to Minneapolis, 9 hours to Amsterdam, 9 hours to Rwanda...after 21 hours of flying, we were only two more hours away from Uganda.
But I will save that for another post.