Hello from the inside of a plane! I am on my way to Paris, the first leg of my trip to South Africa. Today is the second day in my journey across the world, so I’ll explain what has happened so far. If you only want to hear about what happens when I’m actually in South Africa, you can stop reading now and you’ll have to wait another few days for an update!
My journey started yesterday at 5:15am. That was the time my family and I had to wake up so that we could get me to the bus station in Albany, Oregon. We drove to the bus station there, making it just in time for the bus because we had thought it was arriving 25 minutes later than it actually was. I then got some work done on my laptop using the free Wi-Fi provided by the near-empty bus as I rode to Portland, just in time to catch another bus in Portland that was a ten-minute walk away. The second bus was crowded and uncomfortable, but I tried to get some on-and-off “sleep” during the much longer ride to Seattle, Washington.
Upon arriving in Seattle I was picked up by the uncle and cousin of my girlfriend, Cana. I stayed with their family for two days and had an absolutely wonderful time seeing Seattle from Lake Washington & Lake Union with them in a boat, watching Fourth of July fireworks shows with them from the top of a hill where their friends lived, and going on a gorgeous 16-mile bike ride along the Sammamish River through Redmond. I was amazed by the family’s generosity and willingness to take me under their wing for a couple of days. Especially that they would allow me to be a part of a day usually spent with family and would be willing to go out of their way to show me the Seattle area.
That brings us to today, when I was dropped off at the Seattle airport to catch my first flight on the way to Cape Town. This first flight goes to Paris. My flight was supposed to be through Delta Airlines, but when I went to print out my boarding pass at the Delta kiosk, it informed me that my flight had been changed to AirFrance. That was fine, so I got a different boarding pass and made my way to the terminal, wearing a big smile and feeling good about how easily I was able to navigate an airport I’d never been in. After a short wait, I eventually I boarded the plane.
Because my airline had been switched, I had to ask an attendant to assign me a seat shortly before boarding since my new AirFrance ticket did not specify one. This ended up working super well for me, because she assigned me an empty seat in the front row of Economy class where there is a ton of extra legroom! Even better than that, there is no one sitting next to me, so I have two seats all to myself with a bunch of legroom and no seats in front of me! At first I thought I was still losing out a bit because there were no screens for entertainment or tray tables in my area. But a quick text from my girlfriend, who has travelled more than me, revealed that there is actually both a tray table and a screen hidden under some flaps in my seat! (although the screen has no movies worth watching on it, anyway, so I probably won’t use it much). There is nothing really to complain about on this flight, even though the signs are all in French and not understandable to me. I even have a friendly attendant who has taught me the “thank you” (‘merci’, duh) and “I don’t speak French” (‘je me parle pas fransais’) in French!
My flight will be 10 hours, so I’m glad things are comfortable here for this long flight. I arrive in Paris at 11:30am their time, but then I have a 23-hour layover in the city so I will probably take some time to leave the airport and look around. My next update will probably come after my day in France, so look forward to hearing about whatever misadventures happen when Ethan meets the Parisians! Until then!
For those of you who would like to pray for me
If you are of the type that believes in prayer, there are definitely things to pray for already on this trip:
- Praises that I got to have such an amazing time in Seattle and that I got to connect with the relatives of my girlfriend.
- Praises that I have such a comfortable flight for this long trip.
- Petitions that my sleep doesn’t get so messed up that it ruins these next couple of days.
- Petitions that I will be very safe in my day in Paris, but also that I have an enjoyable time there.
- Petitions that might next flight (Paris to Cape Town) goes smoothly.
Thank you so much for your prayers! They are immensely helpful, more than anything else you could do!