We're Jason, Beth, Lee Anna, Sawyer, and Sarah Claire, a family of five living, learning, and laughing lots in Northern Africa.
We hope you can learn a little (and maybe laugh a little too) as you read about our latest adventures.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Out-of-Town Adventure, Part II

Getting There is Half the Fun

Monday, August 14

We left our house at 7:30 this morning. The flier said to be there at 7:00, one friend said 8:00, and one friend said 7:30. We only slept from 12:30 to 5:00 or so. At one point this morning as we were rushing around our house getting ready, we thought we should have gotten up earlier, but really we would have been okay to sleep a few minutes (or hours) later. We could tell when we arrived just after 7:30 that we were not the last ones by a long shot. There were some people there, but no buses, and not nearly the 100 people we had heard would be going on the trip.

It felt a lot like an American trip when we heard the people who had gotten there on time complaining about the late arrivers. We waited at church (and on the buses, once they arrived) while everyone gathered there and finally left at 9:00 for a “two and a half hour” trip. Our group leader took the mic and asked if anyone was still asleep. He then confessed he hadn’t slept all night. We weren't that surprised, since many of them regularly stay up until 3 or 4 in the morning. I thought it was the driver talking, so I was a bit nervous.

One big difference Beth noticed was that a lot of the ladies had spent some time this morning primping and getting their hair all prettied-up for a bus ride. Many of them, especially the older ladies, were wearing fancy Sunday clothes. This event must be a pretty big deal to them. It never occurred to her that she should roll her hair and dress up to ride the bus to a retreat site.

The bus was air-conditioned, thank goodness, so we had a very comfortable ride for the first hour. However, right after the 10:45 rest stop, (why did we need a one-hour rest stop on a two hour trip?) we started smelling gas on the bus, so the driver stopped to check it out. Leaky hose…driver tries to tape it up…doesn’t work…driver goes to town for a new part. An hour later, we’re still waiting in the hot bus on the side of the desert road. Some of us got out of the bus for a few minutes, but there was just blazing sunshine out there. It was just after noon, so there was zero shade. During this stop, all that done-up hair got pulled back into more practical pony-tails and buns.

Beth and I got a little hungry on this trip, but not Lee Anna. On the bus ride she was given chips (several bags) a Twinkie, Cheetos, a small bread loaf (sorta like a hot dog bun), a sandwich and an apple to eat, and had her little sippy-cup filled with Coca Cola! She’s only TWO!!

So we got here at 2:00, after several wrong turns and backing the bus up for missed turn lanes. Seems we weren’t the only ones who didn’t know where we were going.

Check back tomorrow to hear about our “slightly-less-than-five-star" accommodations.

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