Tuesday, July 29th, 2008

Student blog goes here.

After two fatal attempts at writing this blog, I figured I'd better make this short and sweet.  My attempted  blogs, went into deep detail about how wonderful the volunteer staff at the seminary was.
So this time around I will just say, they were wonderful!  We were all so thankful for them and very blessed by them.

On our last morning, we had breakfast at 9:00. Followed by a very emotional goodbye, with all the seminary staff. At their request, almost our entire team (minus myself, who took pictures, and  six others that were just feeling a little "loose" that morning)  performed the shackles dance. They loved it.

Many sad goodbyes, and we were off to the airport. Several of the Perales team members joined us to bid us farewell.  We arrived at the airport four hours early. Even before any of the Copa Airlines staff arrived. So, needless to say, we arrived to "wait". We waited about an hour and a half. Some of us fell asleep in line, some just layed on the ground, while others played cards or were entertained by the comedians of the group. (you know who you are).

We finally got up to our gate and were able to scarf down some food from a McDonalds that was just screaming our names. We then boarded the first plane.  They showed us the movie,"Fools Gold" and gave us what they called "lunch". Let's just say, those that were fortunate enough to eat at the airport, were very thankful.

Later after the movie, MaryBeth Matney became our entertainment as she drew temporary tattoos on the kids. The line for the tattoos was endless. I sat next to her through all this. Waiting very patiently for my turn, as the line seemed to form on my lap. I think at one point, there were four kids on my lap. Now I know my lap is large, but seriously now. By the way, I still haven't gotten my turn. MaryBeth drew on four or five people, and then started feeling sick from the "sharpie" fumes, and had to stop.  We were all joking about getting "Peru 2008" written across our necks just to see the reaction when we arrived at Dulles.

We arrived in Panama, thinking we had at least one hour of a layover, but instead were shuttled quickly to our next flight that was already boarding. Not really time to do anything else. This started the second flight a little rough. Everyone was already exhausted.  They showed some movie, that I didn't even follow, due to the fact that I was still waiting for MaryBeth to draw on me. Never happened by the way. I'm not bitter though.       :(

As this flight went on, we became more and more restless. The majority were switching seats with anyone and everyone from our group. Many passed notes back and forth through several rows.  The beauty of all of this, is that our fearless "Jefe" managed to be seated in first class.  That was a nice treat for him. He felt guilty about it, but we couldn't have been happier for him. Some were exhausted and shut off from the world.  While others talked the whole way home. -Those shall remain nameless.  Peter Johnson had an ongoing conversation with his seat neighbor, who was a nurse missionary from Guatemala.

FINALLY!! We arrived at Dulles and were all very eager to see our loved ones. It took a long time to go through customs and get our baggage, but it was well worth the wait when those doors opened to many of you applauding and displaying your love for us through the sweet "Welcome Home" signs.
Thank you so much to all of you who were there, and THANK YOU SO MUCH to all of you who prayed for us and helped us in various ways to prepare, and to those of you who supported us monetarily.  We could have NEVER made this trip without all of you.

We Love You!
Molly Jackson