happiness is...

happiness is...
kenya 2010

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

let the games begin!

well this ought to be interesting. as i write this, the entire blogger site is in arabic and the cursor is on the right hand side of the screen and the letters feed to the left as i type. i have been awake and traveling for 2 solid days now with no sleep, so we'll see how this pans out. lol. i will keep it short, and sweet because i need some long sweet sleep.  i am now in abu dhabi but not without some traveling snafus along the way.  the flight from KC to chicago was fine. the trouble started at the international departure area at o'hare. it is truly like a foreign airport. lots of loud talking...no one standing in any particular line and no real order. most people didn't speak english- or at least they didn't while there. the "line" for lack of a better word took about an hour to get through. then i got all the way up to the passport checker at the security counter and she said "this boarding pass that they gave you in kansas city doesn't work here. you have to go check in at the etihad airways ticket counter. um...? wow. so i asked if that meant that i had to stand in line again after going and standing in THAT line to get a boarding pass that i already had. you guessed it. the answer was yes. it gets better- as i got to the ticket line, the guy told me he'd have to weigh my backpack. mind you, they didn't weigh it at KC where my journey started-... so he informs me that it is well over the allowable weight and i cannot carry it on. he said i would have to check it (complete with my laptop, camera, chargers, medical equipment, etc.....inside) and to add insult to injury, it would cost me $50 for the honor. when i started to protest, he said "if you'd gone just a little heavier, it would have been $75." i think he thought this was helpful. instead that's where the last piece of straw broke the camel's back and i began to cry. there i was in line, late for my flight (which is ridiculous considering i had a 3 hour layover), pulling items out of my bag and trying to stash them around my neck, and under my arms, and in my purse....and the tears were flowing. i didn't even try to cover them. i made no apologies. i openly wept and looked everyone straight in the eye. no regrets. this had a wonderful effect on the etihad manager assisting people in line. he took one look at me, waved me to the counter, and proceeded to do everything he could to get me to stop crying. i love the power in making people uncomfortable. in a few short minutes i had my bag (still full of all my stuff and FREE), and my new boarding pass, and was heading to the front of the security line with an etihad escort. from that point on, the flight went pretty well.

ethihad is a wonderful airline...they fed us 2 full meals, one light meal, and a snack (klondike ice cream bars!!) and the plane was new with all the (working) bells and whistles. the flight attendants are beautiful and professional and all about customer service. everyone smiled and was friendly. it was one of the best flights i've been on, save for the fact that it was 14 hours long and i still can't sleep on an airplane (ugh). oh- and the fact that the lady in the seat in front of me reclined so far back that her seat was about an inch off my lap. (double ugh). it was smooth and uneventful, really-

until i reached the airport in abu dhabi. abu is hazy from the sky and on the ground- the result of all the sand in the air...and it is blistering hot...and when you look down from the sky on approach, there is nothing as far as the eye can see except brown. sand on all horizons. then, in the middle of the brown is the city. an impossible city in the middle of nowhere.  it looks and feels like no man's land with disneyland built in the middle of it. very odd.... the airport was like the plane- new and shiny with friendly people and a lot of them...but not much baggage. they managed to lose both of my bags en route- we think they may be headed to kathmandu, but that''s more of a theory than a certainty. we'll see. funny, but i thought wearing clothes for 2 days in a row would be more fun than this. i am hoping it gets better day 3. yum. i am SO thankful my hissy fit prevented me from having to check my carry on, too. then i'd be completely emptyhanded. i. am. so. smart.

okay- off to bed in my luxurious hotel before getting up at the butt-crack of dawn to head toward nepal. let the games begin! 


  1. Best wishes Karin, keep us updated and entertained

  2. We have a student in our College Age Sunday School class that traveled to South Africa last year. He saw a real desert while he was there. This last Sunday, he was saying how he didn't understand why God made such a waste land. We discussed why God made deserts. We came up with an answer -- to magnify HIS own Glory. Deserts are barren, don't have water, and don't have much life. They are scary. God is the opposite of that. He is water. Water gives life. God is LIFE.

    God goes with you to your desert.

    Traveling abroad can be quite scary and intimidating. I would say that it worked out for you. Sorry for the tears. I know how that feels, except it was at the end of our international trip and not the beginning that my tears fell and we missed our connecting flight home.

    I hope you find your bags. We'll be praying for you.

    God is with you. May you be anointed with His Spirit.

    Can't wait to read more about your journey and what God has in store for you.

  3. Only just had a chance to read this part Karin. I am determined to try and follow your journey on this blog as far as I possibly can! You have an awesome calling ... and tremendous grace poured on you - even with the love, calling and grace from God .. I can understand your crying at Chicago!

    Go safely and with God ... I feel very excited for you ... and hope one day we might meet in person.

    Goodnight, Karin ... although it's probably getting on for dawn there!

    Like Christina, I can't wait to read what God has in store for you.

    Love, Judith