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.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Getting There Ain't Really Half the Fun

When we left the big city for the beach, we rode a train. The train was great. We had lots of room, were served a meal, and were pretty comfortable all the way there. We bought the tickets on Tuesday to travel on Thursday. Coming back on Saturday, we thought we’d just go to the train station and get tickets for the next train back to town. They run every hour or so, and we’d heard that they’re not hard to get. We didn’t want to buy them before the trip, since we didn’t know how the train would handle the little guys who travel with us. Well, on Saturday afternoon at 3:00, all those people who were on the beach Friday were trying to go home. On our train. So I stood in line for a while to find out that the next available tickets were for the 8:00. We weren’t really interested in standing around the hot sweaty train station for 5 hours with Lee Anna and Sawyer, so I walked out to start asking taxi drivers what it would cost me to get back to town in a taxi. At this point, Lee Anna just melted down and went nuts on us because we weren’t going to ride a train. Actually, she melted down several times that day. Beach vacations are hard on three-year-olds.

The first guy I met offered to take us to the bus station instead. “It’s great,” said he, “air-conditioned and everything, and they leave every half-hour.” Well the word “great” doesn’t begin to describe our trip home. Actually, the word “great” isn’t even heading in the right direction to begin to describe it. After a 20-minute taxi ride, we got to the bus station just in time to buy the last two tickets back to the Big City. Two tickets, two adults—each with a sweaty small child in his or her lap. Since we got the last two tickets, we got the back row seats on the bus, which meant sharing the long seat with two other guys. Lee Anna played with them and spoke all Arabic to them for half an hour or so. That was pretty much the bright spot in an otherwise dismal afternoon. We left our hotel at 2:30 and arrived at the house at about 8:30. The trip included a taxi to the train station, another taxi to the bus station, a long hot bus ride, and one more 30 minute taxi trip from the bus to our home. It also included a fair amount of standing around and waiting in hot sweaty places. We’ll go ahead and buy the return train tickets in advance next time.


  1. This is the story of our lives...

  2. Good to see you and the family. It has been a long time since last seeing you. Still in Jacksonville at a local church. Will talk more later.

  3. Good to see you and the family. It has been a long time since our last contact. Wanda and I are still in Jacksonville at a local church. Talk more later

  4. Jason and Beth and Tribe ...

    It is hovering around a 100 her in Nashville this week with high humidity. Probably a better chance of rain than you all have even though we're in the midst of a draught.

    I love your blog and the pictures. I know it is a LOT of work to keep it updated. When I saw the picture of Andy and Lee Anna by the pool I thought I was looking at a young "Beth."

    Have A Blest Day ...

    Jud Hays