The flight from Cape Town to Amstredam went well. We were able to sleep some which helped pass the time. The 11 1/2 hour flight seemed to go much more quickly compared to when we flew to South Africa because we then flew during the daytime. The men went to McDonalds to get some fortification with bacon cheeseburgers for the second part of the trip home. We parted at the airport in Amsterdam around 1pm (Amsterdam time) in the afternoon. I had a 2 o'clock flight and Bob and Charlie had a 2:30pm flight to Atlanta. The gates were right next to each other. You get patted down and go through security at the gate again in Amsterdam even though you have not left the airport. The flight from Amsterdam was uneventful. I was able to take some short cat naps on the way. I was fortunate enough to only share the three seat with other one woman. I arrived one hour early with lots of snow on the ground. It had snowed the previous night and even into the day. Don was there to great me and it sure felt great to see him. I had no problems going through customs and the like.
Now is the time for me to try and assimilate and understand what I observed and witnessed during my 11 day adventure. One thing I know is that I had the privilege of traveling with three wonderful men of great faith. They brought a lot of joy and laughter into the experience. They got me hooked on playing the card game of "Oh, Sugar." We reminisced some of the memorable lines from the movie, "Oh Brother Where Are Thou." We were able to meet and hopefully comfort the Boone family (the missionaries) with conversations from America. There was a lot of laughter and kidding that went on and that was just what was needed,
The need in the poor areas of South Africa are immense. It is hard to put into words how the people live, but it is not who they are as human beings. There may live in physical poverty, but that does not necessarily mean that they were poor in spirit. There was very little begging. There was never someone looking for a hand-out. What I experienced was a great sense of gratitude and appreciation for our visits. Each person we met and gave something to quickly said those magic words, "Thank you."
The trip was both a mission of help to those who are less fortunate than me and a trip for me to fully appreicate all that I have been blessed with. I often felt guilty about all that I have when so many others have so little. It does not seem fair. I am very glad that I went and I will continue to contact Amy Boone with ideas to help the teachers in the school for children with disabilities. That beautiful little school and its children and teachers need our prayers as does the orphanage in the poorest township that I visited. Maybe in the months ahead we might consider how we can help them in other ways.