Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Catching you up....

Dear Friends,
Greetings! My goodness it has been a long time since I have written to you! I left Malakal about three weeks ago, which was about three weeks early and have been in the United States for the three weeks since.

I was scheduled to leave Malakal tomorrow, May 31st. At the time that I left, border closings between South Sudan and Sudan were creating fluctuations in availability of
fuel in Malakal. It was decided that it would be better for me to leave before the possibility of fuel shortages might make that more difficult.

I chose to fly to the United States on Emirates Airline this time. I had gone to Juba on a Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) flight out of Malakal. This is a small plane which delivers medicine and other supplies several times a week from Juba to Malakal and other remote areas of South Sudan.

In Juba I was met at the airport by an employee of the Presbyterian Disaster Relief Association (PDRA) of South Sudan. He and his driver were very helpful and i was grateful for the help getting my airline ticket to Addis Ababa Ethiopia the next day and airtime so that I could go on line and use the internet for the first time in a couple of weeks. Internet had been cut off in Malakal and we were unable to access it which was another reason that I left early.

They also got me to the Episcopal Church Guesthouse in Juba. I had only an overnight stay there before leaving in the afternoon the next day for the airport. Emirates Airline provided good service and a good flight -- and I have a new passport stamp for the United Arab Emirates where I had an overnight stay at the Airport Hotel and two excellent buffet style meals! The next morning it was back to the airport and on to the 14 hour flight over the corner of Iran, over Russian airspace, over a corner of Norway, over the North Pole, Alaska and some parts of Alaska. I was very grateful not to go over Europe, the Atlantic and the United States to get to Seattle!

I recovered well from jet lag at the home of my daughter and son-in-law and am now visiting a cousin on Whidbey Island. She and her husband invited me to use a mother-in-law type apartment at their home for two weeks while I work on my Dissertation Proposal for my degree program with UNISA, the University of South Africa. It is a blessing to have a place with heat, a refrigerator and a constant supply of electricity where I can spread my notes on the living room floor and be on-line as much as I need to be. My cousin is a good cook and has been feeding me dinner in the evenings!

Stay tuned for my stories of adventure and God’s movement in my life!