Day 1 continued…

Wow… I am so overwhelmed. I’ve never been anywhere where english isn’t spoken. It’s like a whole different planet than what I’m familiar with. Everything is white with blue trim. Cars are small and people drive crazy… running over curbs, scraping against other cars. The arabic language sounds like an argument. Even a calm conversation sounds like the participants are raising their voices and getting upset. Maybe it’s the 14 different ways to pronounce the “H” sound. After we landed in XXXXX we went through customs and I tried a little French small talk with the customs officer. They speak French in XXXXX, but I’m pretty sure the guy didn’t think I was speaking French because I learned French with a rural Illinois farm town accent. We took 2 taxis to B’s apartment (taxis are only large enough for 2 passengers, plus luggage), and since I was the only person in the group, besides B (who spoke arabic), with language skills (ha), I was doomed to always ride in the “other” taxi for the week. Just getting a taxi and negotiating a fare at the airport involved what looked to be quite an animated debate, that even involved the police. Somehow my taxi made it to the same place B’s did, and we arrived at his apartment around lunch time. These pictures are of the outside of the apartment (landlord lives on first floor, B’s apartment was directly above him, with access to the roof). Looking out his window, I could honestly say I couldn’t believe I was in Africa. Middle East, maybe, but not Africa. It is really...

Somewhere over Italy

This is a copy of my journal I took with me on my 8 day mission trip to XXXXX, North Africa. I was invited to come along on this trip by “B”, my friend, who lived in XXXX and other places in North Africa while he was a working there. He needed to take this trip so that he could finish vacating/packing up his apartment as he and his family had recently moved back to Virginia. I traveled with B, Cam, and Ryan, all from our church. Ok, here starts my journal: for real this time. 12:50 am (or is it 6:50 am)? The sun has just risen and we’re somewhere over France I assume, Lione (Lyon?) by the Italian map on the screen. We all know Rome is pronounced like it’s spelled, so why do the Italians spell it Roma? We all know that’s a kind of tomato… who do they think they’re fooling? Anyhow, I’m tired but excited, only got a couple power naps in during the night (despite the Tylenol PM, Sleeping mask, and earplugs) because there’s only so long you can sit in a seat before you can’t stand it. In the middle of the night, after 6 hours of sitting in the seat, I think that magic amount of comfortable time that you might be able to sleep is around 15 minutes. Short night. Good food. Cam really likes the food, and we’re all about to discover how off-the-wall wacky this guy is. Here he is pretending to barf into the bag. Italy is beautiful, I tell you, beautiful. Although we technically weren’t in...
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