Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Ancient Rite of Sleep Deprivation

It’s a strange concept; traveling thirty nine thousand feet above the Atlantic Ocean at almost six hundred miles an hour, while practicing the ancient rite of sleep deprivation. This should not have happened. I took twice the recommended dosage of those little blue sleeping pills I purchased in the Airport. I was hoping for a pharmaceutical miracle. The label on the pills promised a restful oblivion with just one but, alas, even two couldn’t deliver. Thus the sweet and restful slumber I so greatly desired eluded me once again. As I write this we have two hours, three minutes and thirty eight seconds left in our flight to Paris, France and I still can’t sleep. But as has previously been said by someone worse off than I; “It’s been a good day”; ... just not such a good night.

Once again our journey to Kenya has begun with spine tingling adventures and cliff hanging deliverance's.  The first leg of our trip began with a little anxiousness as they announced our flight from Memphis to Newark would be a half hour late. Newark is a huge airport that requires navigational skills to get to your next flight and especially if it’s in another terminal which, woefully, it was. I vaguely remember, as we boarded the late plane, the lady taking our tickets exclaiming with sorrowful eyes; … “when you land in Newark you should try and take the shuttle bus to get to your next flight on time”. I think it was at the word try, that the foreboding sense of futility descended.
We arrived in Newark eight thirty that night and our next flight was boarding as we got off the plane. Its a little threatening, and somewhat frightening experience to hear your name called over an International Airport P.A. system. That's especially true when it’s declaring to thousands of people around you that your plane is about to leave …without you. It seemed as though everyone around us began staring, somehow knowing (because we were walking so fast?) that the loudspeakers were referring to us. 

And it is most definitely disturbing when you aren’t quite sure if the gate your plane is sitting at, is the same gate you’re hobbling toward.  

So, in desperation, we sent our youngest and fastest legs (young Noah) ahead to find out if we were headed for the right gate and to beg for a small extension of time.

Meanwhile the senior citizens from Selmer, helped by the young and beautiful Amy D, continued hobbling at a painfully fast pace toward the salvation that lay through the narrow and (hopefully) correct gate. It was by God’s hand, amidst staring ticket takers with scolding eyes, that we boarded the right plane and took our seats.

We made it to Paris, disembarking only to find ourselves trying to find, once again, where we were. Yet, this time it would be with the added blessing of all the guiding signs being written in French. Still we managed to survive by way of those blessed beacons of light, called information booths.

Thirty minutes later we met with our very friendly tour guide named Christian. We then spent the better part of the day seeing the beautiful city of Paris. You could tell our guide Christian knew and loved Paris as He drove down its streets. He spoke with such passion as we passed the more famous places like Notre Dame, The Victory Arch and the Louvre. It was definitely a superior way to eat up the nine hours we would have spent in the Paris International Airport waiting for our flight to Nairobi.

 A memorable day for all five of us, thanks to Haviylah’s mom Sally, who funded the entire event. Thanks Sally. I will try to upload all our pictures to my web album when we get to Kenya.

Our trip from Paris to Kenya was a repeat of the previous flight. Amy and I practiced the ancient rite of sleep deprivation while Noah and Amma slept like half the time. I think Noah inherited his dad’s unusual ability to be unconscious at  will.We arrived in Kenya about six a.m. very ready to get out of the plane and breathe the fresh Kenyan air. Thanks to everyone’s prayers and the mercy of God, all of our luggage made it to Kenya the same time we did.

To see George's lovely smile and smell the fragrances of Africa was intoxicating. The ride to Nakuru was, as always, beautiful but largely unseen as the very tired travelers nodded off almost the whole way. We arrived for a wonderful lunch prepared by Nelly, Vivian, Petronillia and a few other dear sisters. 

I am finishing up this blog at the beginning of our first full day here in Kenya. This blog has taken 3 days to complete, two of which were without sleep. So if the sentence structure sounds a little strange, well, blame it on the deprivation. Sleep however did not elude us last night, so no more excuses for dumb blogs. Thanks for the prayers and don’t stop because we’re excited to see what our Father will do in Kenya this trip.     

David Noah… alias RCV Grandfather

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