Well, I figured it was high time that I got into the habit of blogging again...especially since I leave for SWITZERLAND on a Youth Mission Trip tomorrow! Gah! I am still in disbelief that this is even happening! I will admit that I had a sort of mental panic attack before I boarded the plane for New York last night. It was my first time on a flight by myself, but I am so proud of myself for taking my big-girl pill and doing it. Signing up for the trip was the easy part, following through with it all is going to be the difficult part. When I applied at the beginning of the year, July seemed like a time unimaginably distant in the future. I guess it isn't anymore!
I really can't say thank you enough for those of you who contributed financially in order to make this trip a reality for me. I wouldn't even know how to begin to express my gratitude to you all. For those of you who have prayed for this trip...KEEP PRAYING. We want to do God's will and make an impact in the European countries that we will be stationed at for the 10 days of the trip.
The flight was beautiful. We could see the fireworks from the sky. The earth below us looked like a series of lit up computer chips with colorful explosions lighting up the entire grid. It was magical.
Bleh! It's SO early. It's 3:54 am Oregon time and 6:54am New York time as I am writing this. I have at least four hours to wait for the other three girls who are planning on arriving early so we can hang out before the official start of the trip. Still, I can't make myself sleep in public places. I'm always afraid that someone is going to attack me in my sleep or rob me. Is that weird?
I will continue to blog and write about my experiences on this trip as often as I can. For those of you who are interested, just keep stalking my facebook page.
Want to hear about my adventures so far? Nothing too exciting, but I did meet some interesting people. I befriended a lady on my flight named Marilyn right off the bat. I think I made her nervous at first, but she seemed to come around. She was on her way to New York for the first time to meet up with her brother who lives about an hour out of the city. Her brother promised her a tour of the statue of liberty and other locations in the city that he had yet to explore. After visiting with her brother, she will have a few more stops along the way (a few more friends to visit), and will end up in Portland, Maine. Upon talking to her for a while, I found out that she has a daughter who turned 19 on the 4th and who was only slightly upset that her mom would be leaving her on her birthday. Her daughter has traveled to Japan a few times through her school and through the Japanese language program that her school has. We chatted a while at the gate before boarding and noticed that as we talked, more people would join in our conversation. Somehow we got on the subject of books and we started having a conversation with two other people (I didn't catch the name of either). One of the people was a guy with fly-away blondish hair and a person who was seemingly very into his computer, which is why we were startled when he started offering books that he has enjoyed. We found out that he was on his way to New York to meet his wife, who moved to New York a few months ago to build her work experience in the legal field. He sounded sad, but said that sacrifices had to be made in the name of work, which is hard to come by now. Oh and I also found out that he lives near the Hillsboro airport.
A boy of maybe 18 or 19 with a Justin Bieber style hair cut then started asking me about the book I was reading and offered his input on books that may or may not be worth reading. He then asked me about my trip. I told him that I was on my way to Geneva, Switzerland for a Youth Mission Trip. His eyes lit up and he told me how his mother is Swiss, but that he has never been to Switzerland himself. He told me that he was excited for me and then said, "God Bless You!". I thanked him and then we all went our separate ways.
On the plane, I was seated next to a Norwegian pilot named Lars. He was pretty talkative most of the flight, but I did have a hard time hearing him because of how flights affect my ears and my hearing. What I gathered is that he was on his way to visit his sister who lives and works in New York. He didn't know how long he would stay, but just that they planned on going bicycling a lot. He attends the Hillsboro Aviation school, and from what I understood, he also lives in the area.
I don't pretend to know what the purpose of seemingly random encounters with strangers are, but I do know that they aren't random at all. There is a reason for everything. Every conversation is significant.