My flight was at 2:40pm London time. They started boarding at like 1:15. It was the strangest way to board...ever. I guess I've never gone international back to the USA...some serious heightened security!!! So the boarding process was divide into men and women lines. Then with you carry-ons (we had already gone through security) we were hand checked. Our bags dumped. Frisked etc. Then we walked into a tunnel that LOOKED LIKE we were boarding a plane. Not quite. We went downstairs into security again. Then we walked forever til we got outside and we boarded a bus marked Seattle. ....? We were CRAMMED into 3 buses. Going to be a full flight. We drove over to our plane and then boarded. I was on the aisle seat of a row of three. The row of 3 behind us was empty so I asked the girl in the middle seat if she wanted it. She did. Well we found out why these 3 seats were only empty seats on the plane (!!) none of the tv's worked! :) Oh well. the girl didn't mind, she slept!
So in the window seat was a sweet girl from India. Rather terrified looking. She really clung to me. It was her first time on a plane..>EVER and here she was...10 hours from India to London and now 10 hours from London to Seattle...>alone. Nice. When we took off I thought she was going to faint!! She asked me "is it ok is it ok?":) The flight was pretty good. It was strange in that we are leaving at 2:40pm London time and arriving at 4pm Seattle time. So we saw the sky go black then bright day again quickly...meanwhile in the middle of the night for us. I only napped maybe 30-40 minutes. It was a light nap. I read the entire book Tanis gave me (book #5 in what...a week?). I watched a few movies, the selection was poor.
It was interesting to watch our route on our screen. 38,000 feet. Cutting right across Greenland then northern Canada, down to Calgary and then down to Seattle. It was a little rough over Greenland but all in all a smooth flight...
The most dramatic 15 minutes of 20 hours flying time...was the last 15 minutes coming in for a landing. I get shivers thinking about it.
So we are coming in for a landing. Everything is good. Indian girl is delighted. So am I. Finally there. Cloudy day in Seattle. Watching cars, houses. Engine is roaring. Then in a surreal moment the plane takes this SHARP upward thrust...we are just seeing sky!! Your stomach was left somewhere near the runway. There was a "ahhhhhhhhhh" sound throughout the plane...people looked terrified. My heart was pounding violently. WHAT JUST HAPPENED!?!? When do you come down for landing (last I had looked we were under 1000 feet altitude!! ) and then totally take off again...sharply??? Oh. My. Goodness. I know its difficult to give the picture of what happened. We are landing then suddenly going back up through the clouds, fast. Instantly I honestly thought terrorism :(. Was the pilot a joke? about 3 minutes later (lady from India and I are still holding hands!!) the pilot comes on the speaker and says "So sorry about that...there was a tiny plane that came out of no where and cut right in front of us and landed...the control tower did not see it and told me to quick get back up in the sky even though we were on our final approach--we need to circle around for 15 minutes to land again. We are so sorry for the scare!" The lady behind me from Scottland is not doing well. She kept swearing saying "oh my we were going to die" it was pretty traumatic. I had completely blacked out...the lady from India said "I've never seen someone's face go so many shade of color so quickly". I'm sure I had. My heart instantly was thanking God for His protection. Can you imagine...??? I was shaking so bad even when we got off I though I may need to go vomit. Security was insane when we got off. I got all my luggage!!! But it had to go through security TWICE before I could take it out to the car!!! Bryon and Joni were waiting for me. I was so excited to be on American soil.
We did stop at McDonalds on the way because I had not eaten in 12 hours. Coming home was so sweet. The kids had a huge welcome home banner in the living room for me. They were all fresh out of the bath and the smiles, especially Azahria's (who seemed shocked that I actually reappeared in her life!) were priceless.
I finally tried to go to bed at 3am (Africa is 10 hours behind) and it was pretty useless. In the end I got 4 hours sleep and was up bright and early at 7:30 and got Tirzah ready for school. I took all the kids with me as they all wanted to come. Tirzah was excitedly wearing her new African necklace that Mama bought her.
What a trip. What a crazy trip.
Thank you God. From the bottom of my heart. For all you gave. I was completely in Your hands the entire time and thats where my peace came from. "When my world is shaking...Heaven stands. When my heart is breaking...I never leave your hand".