Friday, July 22, 2005

Hmmm... a three hour delay, and our lay over in Brussels is three hours. I think we are in for a pleasant weekend in Belgium.

Noah snaps a shot at a tired Hannah from over his seat behind her. At this point, we've been in this plane eight hours with three to go, and only four of those hours were in the air.


The first leg of our journey was smooth, but navigating NYC was a bit taxing. We landed in LaGuardia, but would fly out of JFK across town. No problem, we had a ten hour layover. We rented a van, loaded up our fourteen pieces of luggage, and headed into NYC to see Ground Zero and the Statue of Liberty. Traffic was normal for NYC, but it was all new to me. After getting lost more than once, we made it into Manhattan and saw the sights, had lunch, and headed to JFK for the second leg of our trip.

After an emotional day that started early, and included major goodbyes, cross country travel, NYC driving and three airports, we were a bit tired by the time we got to JFK. We boarded on time, and waited an hour due to heavy traffic. We were watching the clock, because we had only a three hour layover in Brussels, and really only a two hour layover for our baggage, which needs that time to be checked from one plane to another. As we finally prepared to take off-- I mean we had taxied to our take-off point on the runway--the captain informed us in his Capatainy way, "... Ah folks, ah, we have some bad news for ya there..." They had discovered an ominous leak of water coming from somewhere. So we headed back to the terminal for our second hour in the plane to learn the source of the trouble: a leaky coffee maker (Oh NO!). Of course, this instrument must be repaired, so after hour three, we were again ready for take-off. We suspected that unless God really wanted us in Liberia on Friday, we were not making the connecting flight to Monrovia. What was on His Mind?

4:30am Goodbye neighborhood! Goodbye old house!

TSA really rushed and hassled us at Grand Rapids Intnl. Renita got flagged and everything was searched. Her family could only watch from a distance. She couldn't say her goodbyes!

The journey begins. On the ground in Grand Rapids-- Renita sad especially because in the rush and craziness at Grand Rapids, she did not get to say goodbye to sister Janette, who has been such a pillar for her. The rest of us are oblivious and geeked.

During our ten hour layover bwteen Laguardia and JFK, we hang out in NYC. Lady Liberty has our back.

Waiting for our ill-fated flight to Brussels. We thought the next day would lead to Africa. Little did we know that a leaky coffee pot would lead to eleven hours in the plane and two extra days in Belguim.