Friday, November 26, 2010

Looking for the blessings-our trip in Indonesia!

A few days before we departed for Indonesia, our small group had a prayer time dedicated to our trip, our transition here in Indonesia and our ministry here. I think it might have been Jennifer who prayed that we would look for the blessings in the trip instead of focusing on the negatives. I was really challenged by this! I really expected there to be a lot of negatives, but I decided to focus on the blessings, and I was surprised that there were so many! I'll share with you a few...

It began Wednesday morning as we finished our packing. You can't really tell by this picture, but we checked TEN bags and had eight carry-ons, plus Joe's car seat. We were only planning on checking 9 plus Daniel's guitar, but right before our flight, we just couldn't fit all our last minute items into our bags. So, instead of unpacking and sorting through some things to leave behind, we decided to leave Daniel's guitar and just take another bag.

This is Daniel's family waving goodbye as we had just made it through security.

We had been praying a lot for the baggage check-in people to be gracious to us! God blessed us SO much by helping us get into the right line so that we could get the most gracious check-in person! We had several bags that were 1-2 pounds overweight, but he let them all slide through! I heard the ladies on either side of him charging other passengers the $160 it cost to have overweight bags. Also, he didn't make us weigh any of our carry-on bags, which I know some of them were very over the 15 lb weight limit. I also saw the other check-in people weighing other passengers’ carry-ons. But, the BEST blessing of all was when Daniel went to pay for the extra bags, they only charged us for one! This was really amazing because we were planning on having to pay $100 per extra bag, but it was actually $160 per extra bag.
Getting through security went pretty smoothly. They weren't using the full body scanners, and there didn't seem to be any drama about it. Picture above is us re-grouping after security.

Reece with her travel companion, Uni.

We got to the airport about 3 hours early for our 4:30pm flight, so we stopped for one last American meal. It was a really yummy meal of burgers and fries! Some man offered to take our picture :-)

Okay, so I've never been on a big airplane like this before, so thought I would take a picture for those of you who have never been on one either! I'm sure the other passengers thought I was crazy, though! This plane had 3 aisles of 3 seats. We were on the left. Reece and I sat together with one empty seat in our row and Daniel and Joe sat together right behind us with one empty seat in their row. So, that worked out really nicely for our first 11 hour flight to Moscow.

I'm really not sure what Joe did the whole time we were flying! I think he mostly slept and just sat with cowie. He did come up to sit with Reece and a I couple times, color, eat, play with the little toys I got him and I think he only fussed once before falling asleep. A couple times I walked with him up and down the aisles and we took visits to the bathroom for a change of scenery. He was such a good boy! We couldn't have asked for any better!

Reece and I had fun doing all kind things. We colored, played games, watched movies and ate a lot! She was so content to sit in her chair. I think she only got up to use the bathroom. It seemed like she only had to go on take-off and right when our meals came!

Reece loved all her new airplane surprises. We didn't even get to open most of them! They will keep us entertained for a lot longer here as we get settled.

Singapore airlines is amazing!! They were always bringing us something to make us feel better. And, this dessert right outside of Texas really made Daniel happy!! They were always bringing us hot towels, lots of meals and snacks, toys for the kids and they were always checking on the kids. If any of you come and visit, you have to take Singapore Air! They are wonderful!!

Reece making herself comfy! The kids went to sleep at about 8pm on Wednesday, and I think they would have kept sleeping except they turned on all the lights and started serving breakfast at 2am! Joe slept through most of it, so he got a good 7 hours, but Reece only got about 5. Daniel and I found it much more difficult to sleep since we couldn't stretch out. If Reece wasn't taking up most of our 3 seats during the night, then she was sleeping in the middle seat so I only had one seat to sleep in. But, the blessing was that the more tired we were, the easier it was to sleep in any position!

This is Joe coloring at the Singapore Airport, which is super fancy. But, I'll back up first to our first stop in Moscow. We had to get off the plane so they could clean it and take all our carry-on bags even though we were getting right back on the same plane. We only had about one hour in the airport, which was spent navigating our way through the smokey Russian airport. I guess it was really my first time to be a foreigner, and I really felt it! I felt like most people were giving me crazy looks, and maybe that was just because we had so many random carry on bags that we were lugging around, plus Joe’s car seat! But, after getting through the Russian security, we were able to get back on the airplane. I think the most difficult part of the trip was making our way through the different airports with two tired and distracted children, 6 carry-on bags and Joe’s car seat!

Our flight from Moscow to Singapore was about 10 hours, and it was much fuller, so we didn’t have our empty seat. But, that flight went well and we all slept more since we were so tired! I felt like we ate so many meals, including about 3 breakfasts!, but it was a good distraction. And, they made the kids meals special, so it was fun for the kids to eat.

We were so happy when we got to the Singapore airport because they had free luggage carts so we didn’t have to lug all our bags around! Another blessing! We were able to enjoy their beautiful gardens, have a Starbucks coffee, and all use the restroom before our short 1.5 hour flight to Jakarta. I did notice in the bathroom one stall that had a sign on it that said “squatting pan.” But, they also had a stall that had a child’s seat toilet, so it was just a very accommodating bathroom! :-)

On our first two flights, we sat in front of a mom with her one-year-old daughter and three-year-old, energetic son going to Cambodia! That poor mom! Her baby had a hard time sleeping, and I don’t think mom got any sleep! I was so thankful that I didn’t have to do that by myself!

Both the kids slept from take-off to landing on our last flight.

Reece had big plans to color and watch a movie, but she couldn’t keep her eyes open!

We got into Jakarta in the morning (Indonesian time) but it was just about our kids bed-time Houston time! We expected the airport to be crazy there in Jakarta, but it was fairly empty. Our line through immigration was very short (about 10 minutes) and ALL our bags were waiting for us at baggage claim. Some men loaded them all up on carts for us and we were on our way to find our ride. Once we found him, he said that he had never heard of anyone getting through the Jakarta airport that fast! What a blessing!

We got through the Jakarta traffic and arrived at our room in the guest house. There is a bed in the middle of the room for Daniel and I and another set of bunk beds to the left where Reece is sleeping. There is and air conditioner, which is nice, and a big common living/dining room area.

This was Reece and I right before our first outing into Jakarta! I will post more on that later. We have had a relaxing weekend trying to get over jet-lag (harder than we thought!) and we’re looking forward to getting to our house sometime later this week.

Now, hopefully I can get this posted if the internet will let me!


Ashley Howard said...

So glad the trip went as well (or better) than could be expected! Get some rest as you are settling in!

Valerie said...

What great pictures - so glad to hear of answered prayer! I see a crib in the bedroom. Will you still have one when you get to Salatiga? Love you, miss you!

junglewife said...

Thanks for sharing all about your trip! We never end up using all of our little "airplane treats" either. I figure it is always better to be over-prepared than under-prepared! I am so glad that it went well for you, and that the kids slept at least part of the time! That is wonderful about the graciousness of the check-in guy. We have had the sticklers as well as the gracious ones. What we have done the last few times is to under-pack all our bags by a few pounds, and then take a separate bag of things that can go or stay. Then at the airport we find an empty scale, and sit there and weigh all the bags, one at a time, and add those miscellaneous items until each bag is EXACTLY 50 pounds! But it always stresses me out at the end, trying to fit in the last-minute things, the toiletries and clothes you are wearing, etc... Argh!
Singapore airlines is wonderful, isn't it?! We would LOVE to fly them sometime but it has always been VERY expensive. But we usually fly United and they are partners with Singapore air, so we always end up flying on Singapore Air on the leg from Singapore to Jakarta. But we do enjoy it! We have even considered ordering special kids meals for ALL of us, not just the kids :-)
Well, I'm glad you got your long post posted and it didn't get lost again! I look forward to hearing about how everything goes for you!

Lindsee said...

I hung onto every word. So glad to hear y'all are there and getting somewhat settled! Y'all are inspiring, Becky. I'm excited to see what God has in store for y'all!

A Glimpse into the lives of a family on a journey to serve God through aviation in Indonesia!