Sunday, March 9, 2014

Hello from Tanzania!

Well, not really from Tanzania.  This is Jessi's mom, Karen and I am still here in my little neighborhood in the US.  However, I did want to update everyone with whatever communications I get from my girl and let y'all know how she's doing.  The bonus is that I can "say" all these things here and it doesn't make me cry. (Mostly. And if I am you can't tell.)  Ever since she landed in Tanzania, every time I open my mouth to share an update, tears take over.  They are grateful, relieved, excited tears but they still make conversing rather awkward.  Hopefully I will get past this before I have to go to work tomorrow, otherwise it's going to be a long day.

Anyway, back to the details:  We arrived at SDF at 6am with no real trouble...other than her dad was sure that her main piece of luggage weighed at least 100 pounds.  

I decided that the airport was the perfect place for an official selfie,

(She looks lovely first thing in the morning, doesn't she...)

then onto a short, tear-less, (I was saving them till I knew she was safe) prayer filled goodbye.  

And off she goes...following an amazing dream provided by our Faithful God. (Jehovah Jireh!)
(I didn't notice it at the time but the sign by her head says "saving the world." How cool is that?)

Since then, she's discovered the following:

  • The Charlotte airport is HUGE and her departing flight was on the opposite side the the airport from her arriving flight, necessitating a super fast run from one side to the other.
  • There are no seats in the waiting area of the JFK airport that she was waiting in...which makes for a very long four hour wait to check ones luggage.  There is, however, this...

and this...

  • The Royal Dutch airlines have quite an optimistic view of how much one's purse and carry on bag combined should weigh when one is traveling overseas for 11 or 12 days.  (If you've ever lifted Jessi's purse, you know that it weighs 20 pounds on a regular day...)
  • The Royal Dutch airlines might not know how to process a debit card but they are well versed in scaring young women who are about to board an international flight half to death by requiring "cash only" rather than re-swiping the card.
  • The Lord Provides.  He provides with faithful women to immediately pray when called upon.  He provides with new friends willing to wait in line with you while you try to straighten things out.  He provides by allowing the ATM machine accept the same card (and replenish the cash) that the Royal Dutch airlines were "unable" to process.  And He even provides this to make a long trip seem shorter.
(It's Niles!  from Frasier!)

So there  she is.  Tucked away in her bed, safe and sound, halfway around the world.  Following her heart.  Before she left she asked if I would write her notes for her to read while she was away and I did.  Some were serious, some were goofy.  One included the words to "Somewhere out there," the theme song from the forever ago movie "An American Tail."  Fievel and his mouse family travel from Russia to America and upon landing, Fievel gets separated from his family.  Late at night he and his sister sing a duet (from different parts of the city) that includes this:

And even though I know 
How very far apart we are
It helps to think we might be wishing
On the same bright star

 I reminded her that we will see the same sky, just in different parts of the world and at different times.  Sitting outside the Kilimanjaro Airport, she texted me this: 

"It is really weird that it's nighttime here and not there.  When we started driving, I was just looking out at the stars and I started crying a little because I am so happy.  I have wanted to come here for so long and I never thought I would make it."

This mama is going to sleep well tonight.  Her little girl may be on the other side of the world, but she's fulfilling a dream and we're sharing the same night sky.  


  1. Thanks for the update!! Nice to "meet" you :) And so glad that Jessi's flights went well and that she's safe and sound in TZ! Yay :)

  2. Yes, thanks so much for the update!!! I am so excited for Jessi and this trip. And I'm praying!!


Thanks for commenting on the blog!