Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Glitches in the System

It’s not a trip without a few minor glitches along the way. Here are some of our good ones so far. I’m sure you’ll be able to relate with some of these from your own travels!

Story 1: We arrived at the Cedar Rapids Airport on time and in good spirits. We left the Cedar Rapids with the plane being held for us. Clearly something happened in between point A and point B. For some unknown reason our passports could not be validated. Seems odd to me since the very essence of a passport is to in fact, be VALID. But who am I, right? It took nearly an hour for this to be figured out. All the while we’re holding up lines, emptying vending machines, and generally just starting to freak people out with our ever lingering presence. By the grace of God, that problem was solved. Thank you magic person on the other end of the phone.


We couldn’t get boarding passes. No wait. Everyone but Darcy couldn’t get boarding passes. (Don’t worry- Darcy will regret this later) So after another 45 minutes of waiting, and a plane that should have been boarded and be about ready for departure, our passes are printed and we are on our way to security.


Believe it or not, I have absolutely nothing negative to say about you at this point in time. You were nice to us. Actually probably one of the nicest things to us, all day. Thanks for that!

Depart Cedar Rapids. Check!

Story 2: So Detroit Airport is fun. There are some shops. And a miles worth of moving sidewalks. Definitely enough to keep 13 Iowans busy for two hours. But apparently not busy ENOUGH for two of our youth. Parents- I’ll leave you to wonder if these were your kids or not! As I was sitting at our gate, waiting to board our next flight to Amsterdam, my cell phone rings. On the other end of the phone is a familiar voice. I am told that somehow, as they were exploring the terminal, the accidentally left it. YOU WHAT?! WHERE ARE YOU NOW?! Standing outside of security. WELL GO THROUGH SECURITY KIDS. We can’t. WELL WHY NOT?! So.and.So doesn’t have his/her boarding pass…. So I dug through the backpack, located the boarding pass, left the terminal, located my children (with their specialty cups of tea that happened to be from a shop outside of the terminal…ahem…) and we went BACK through security.

Safe and Secure. All accounted for. Check!

Story 3: Hello Europe and your not so comfortable or well-ventilated airport! Upon arrival, we realize that we actually have minimal idea how to navigate an airport that doesn’t have display boards with gate numbers for flights. Jokes on us, right? RIGHT. With some well-trained eyes, I just happened to spot the monitor that had our flight on it. But not because we had any idea that we were actually heading in the right director. Divine intervention. I think so!

Cleared to fly the friendly skies once again. Check!

Story 4: Somehow in midair, McKenna has managed to lose a flip flop. She does not however notice that it has gone missing until the cleaning crew has gone through. We fear the worse and laugh at/dread that fact that she might actually have to walk through the airport without a shoe. My fear sets in as I think about I will have to explain why she is missing a shoe to a customs officer who may already be weary of our non-showered, not rested exterior. However, after crawling on the floor and searching under seats, the flip flop is located and a crisis is nearly averted.

Shoes in tow. Check!

Story 5: We made it to Tanzania. But not all of our luggage did. Remember how Darcy got her boarding pass before everyone else did? We her luggage apparently didn’t. Lesson learned- don’t be the first to check in. Another piece of luggage was mislocated, too. This person was the second to be checked in. Do you see a correlation? I think I do! However, it’s been reported should be on the next bus to Morogoro on Wednesday.

Luggage Tagged and Collected. Check!

So far those have been our major mishaps. All minor, really. We made it here safely. We made it through customs. Our VISA’s to be in the country were flawless. I’d say were batting about a 93%. Not bad, me thinks! I hope to post again soon with some pictures. Until then- hope you’re enjoying the adventure along with us!



  1. What an exciting beginning!
    Explore, give, absorb, share, laugh, care, sing, help, smile and love -- plus take lots of pictures! And keep us posted.

  2. an update for you. Cash says hello, you missed Glee, you know..TV. Tvo took care of it, also the go-hawks girls soccer team is onto state after beating columbus 2-0. miss you

  3. Hi Em! thanks for keeping us updated. Can't wait for pics. SO HAPPY you are back in Africa so your heart can be WHOLE for a bit. ENJOY ENJOY! Love you. XOXO