I am coming to you live from the U.S.A.!!! We arrived in Shreveport, Louisiana last night 15 minutes early! We had an awesome 36 hours of travel. We almost missed our first flight out of Mozambique (long story) then our flight from Johannesburg to Amsterdam was really late leaving so we spent a loooong time waiting in the airport there. FYI most of the shops and restaurants in the Johannesburg airport close at 9:30 or 10:00. We didn't board our plane until 12:30 so we spent lots of time sitting and pacing (Abby and Luke took naps) in the airport.
The 10 1/2 hour flight to Amsterdam was full - 426 people on a 747 with only tiny ceiling mounted TV screens and seats that were WAY too close together. Anyone over 5 ft. 5 was extremely cramped. Thankfully everyone but Coleson and I slept a lot on that flight.
We got off that plane in Amsterdam (which our kids started calling "Amster..beep" get it? dumb, I know)and literally crossed over to the gate on the opposite side of that passageway (for want of a better word?) to board our flight to Memphis. We had time to go to the bathroom, freshen up a bit and change clothes then we got on a MUCH nicer airplane (an Airbus A330 if you are interested) that had personal TV screens and tons of kid-friendly shows to watch - thank you Northwest Airlines. Abby, Luke and Coleson slept a lot on that flight but Will watched 9 straight hours of TV......the entire flight from Amsterdam to Memphis! I liked that they had old movies - I watched two of my favorites - The Color Purple and The Pelican Brief! It made the trip much more enjoyable.
It was awesome to step down on American soil then to walk into a store in the Memphis airport and see Dr. Pepper sitting there in a refridgerated box - just waiting for me to buy and drink.
Our flight to Shreveport was not even an hour long and Abby never even knew we were on a plane. She was unconcious at that point and barely aware that we got off the plane. We were so happy to see our dear friends Cindy, Tommy and Chris Walker who came to pick us up. Abby did perk up a bit to eat ice cream at TCBY on the way home then promptly fell back asleep.
THANK YOU to those who prayed for us. I felt the Lord's presence in so many ways - reminding me that it was HIS wind that our plane was riding on and in lots of other small ways that only God can do!
We slept 6 hours last night and are RARING to go ....except our luggage did not arrive with us - a glitch in Amsterdam with lots of people on our flight - but should arrive tonight. I was so thankful for the washer/dryer here in our mission house and put all of our travel-dirty clothes in to wash last night. HOWEVER.....I was jet-lagged and not accustomed to liquid detergent and fabric softener and ended up washing our clothes in fabric softener instead of liquid detergent......so our clothes smell really good. When they get finished washing (again) this a.m. we will put them on and go out to buy something else to wear!!!
My first impressions of America:1. the smell....it smells good and when we walked out of the airport I could smell pine trees! 2.Automatic doors and toilets that flush for you. 3. Everyone walks around talking on cell phones. Oh wait....they do that in Mozambique too. 4. All of the portions are LARGE! 5.Everyone speaks English. I found myself eavesdropping in the Memphis airport and was amazed to only hear English. I'm used to hearing several languages all around me. I do realize there are places in America where other languages are spoken. I'm just not in one of those places yet. 6. There is SO MUCH to watch on TV!!! and 7. The sugar here is so fine that it looks like salt! And I didn't have to pick any trashy looking things out of it!!!!
P.S. I will be able to send email once we change the settings on our computer.