We awoke in a hurry to all get down to have breakfast together and then go over the morning’s plan. After a quick briefing we ran up to finalize our packing and go back down for a sports, music, and drama meeting. We all had fun singing, dancing and acting. We split into three groups and began to plan skits and songs. I was in Mary, Amber, and Laura’s group where we did a motion drama that was very serious. After 40 minutes of training and practice we ran and got our bags and began to load uo my trucks and a few cars to take to the North American Mission Board where our shuttle to the airport would pick us up.
We ended up having to wait quite awhile for the shuttles to pick us up and get us a-movin’. We made an assembly line and did a great job basically loading up all our stuff on one shuttle and had the other two quite free. Our shuttle was driven by Amen [not quite shure that is how you spell it] who is from Ethiopia. Amy seemed to have a blast with him (and I think he was hitting on her a little).
Joey, Suzanne, Travis and I exchanged some cool stories [Joey’s stories always were better] until we got to the airport (which took very little time). Once at the airport the unloading process was, yet again, the assembly line. In no time we had our bags and team bags together and we proceeded to check-in. My team bag was the only one we had trouble with weight-wise, but they let it slide. Security was not too shabby either, It was not fun, however, taking my shoes and belt off as well as my coat and a few other items. We all got through with great time with only Travis Bartlett having issues with his toothpaste tube being too big.
We were able to ride the underground tram to our terminal (E) and all ate Arby’s as we waited to depart. We all boarded and I got to sit next to Bryce. He got window and I got aisle. It was a packed flight and I don’t think a single seat was open. The whole flight from Atlanta to Amsterdam was somewhere between 7-8 hours and while the constant food (nuts, chicken, brownies, bagels, hot sandwiches) and drinks (ginger ale, orange juice, water, coffee and tea) and hot washcloths they brought out, I was still not able to sleep, even after taking three Tylenol PMs. I ws so uncomfortable. I was able to watch “The Queen,” bits of “Norbit” and the chase sequence in “Casino Royale,” but no sleep happened except for a 2-5 min. dose-off.
I was able to move around a little, and at one point ran into Laura talking with a guy in a very casual manner in the back. It seemed to be like a lounge since there were other people there too.
The air got really dry and I ended up taking my contacts out. My eyes, nose, throat, and tongue got pretty dry. But I was able to see a little of Ireland and some of England, but it got extremely cloudy as we neared Amsterdam. What we could see was neat. I was very green and there were lots of bodies of water. No windmills. 😦 We landed and it was now 10am thier time. That is where I will leave off for now as we fly over the Sahara!
What can I say? This day was EXTREMELY long and literally had to be the longest day in my life. One thing I have to talk about is how well Joey and Suzanne prepared us for the airport. We were given numbers (I can’t remember what number I was) to call out and make sure we were all there. Took as awhile, but we got it. They also helped us perfectly pack our bags and then showed us how to make our airport experiences go as smooth as possible. We would create assembly lines from the van to a central area where some would watch over the luggage as we piled up what we got out of the van or from the luggage return area. It proved very handy.
The airline we used was KLM and I could never say enough of how awesome this company is. The food was amazing and the entertainment they provided made the flight go so smooth. I write more on the airplane experiences later on. Until then, there are some pictures below.