Journal entry April 12th, 2010;
Well today was the big day. I woke early and went about finishing up the last minute projects that are inherent to a big trip.
All our bags packed, I headed over to the hospital to find Aissa. Many of my colleagues approached me, wishing me blessed travels, excited that the time had finally come for us to go. We shook hands and exchanged smiles, Aissa was the star of the moment.
After Aissa had enjoyed a nice long bath and had changed into clean clothes, we packed the car and made our way to the airport. Our time waiting for our flight was pleasant, Aissa thoroughly enjoyed her new crayons and coloring book and played with Josiah, Andy’s son who came along to keep her company.
Checking in and securing boarding passes, going through passport control and paying airport tax was effortless, a major answer to prayer. We ate a leisurely lunch and actually saw our plane land! Aissa was all excitement and we hastily swept away crumbs and shuffled our bags to the boarding area.
Jean was stopped by officials at the door of the boarding area, at the door heading to the tarmac as well as an attendant on the plane! Apparently he didn’t quite look like he belonged! I simply showed them his boarding pass and we sailed through.
We found three seats together, buckled in and waited for takeoff! I will not lie, the flight was rough. Our first leg from Maroua to Garoua was especially rough with much turbulence. I think Aissa panicked a bit and began to strain against her seatbelt. We tried to encourage her to keep it on, but she was having none of it. She began to cry and yell until an attendant came by to say I could hold her in my lap. Thus began approximately 2 hours of Aissa the tornado.
This little girl hasn’t had to sit still more than 5 mintues in the past year, perhaps longer. Trying to keep her occupied was a real struggle, and I do not look forward to the upcoming flight. She was all over those three seats, she new every inch of them, she climbed, she jumped, she turned, she cried, she whined…
I had prayed the evening previous that God would provide us with kind people on our journey. He absolutely answered my prayer. On the first leg of the flight, the ladies in front of us complimented my Fulfulde, on the second leg, another set of ladies gave Aissa candy when she cried. We were seated next to a young mother with a lovely baby and they both smiled and cooed at Aissa. The attendant couldn’t have been more kind, waving to us on her way past with drinks, allowing me to hold Aissa on my lap to prevent a meltdown.
Upon landing, Aissa pushed and shoved to get to the front of the plane, but the other passengers were patient with her. Our luggage arrived safely and we found our taxi chauffer with no trouble. Douala is nothing like the north, where the weather is hot, brown and dry. Here, everything is lush and green, but with the high humidity, the sweat just pours off. I think Aissa was quite uncomfortable, which only increased the whining, demanding behavoir.
However, once we checked into our rooms, we found that the Catholic mission where we are staying has a pool! Praise be to God:-) After a bit of splashing about, a change a clothes and a cool night breeze, she was in a much better mood.
And so now we wait for dinner, this girl can pack away more than me! God was so faithful today, so many things went very well, he is good and we are safe.
A photo with Aissa and Jean before heading to the airport.