Here We Go!

Security in Wichita was super nice.  Even when they had to pull a coil of twine and some small candles in tins out of one of the bags to make sure we weren't plotting to take over the world.  Don't worry, we got them back.  Wichita to Dallas.  Lunch in Dallas. 
In Los Angeles, we had to gather all twelve checked bags and march from the domestic terminal to the international terminal.  Even though everybody was beginning to get tired, I still saw smiles on each of my children's faces.
Getting every bag up the escalator proved no problem for Team Choate.  One person stayed on top with the luggage, one person stayed down at the bottom, and the other four ferried the bags up to the International terminal.  We looked a little bit like a circus, I'm sure!
We arrived at the Air Pacific counter to find the line already extending out into the main aisle.  And the counter didn't open for more than half an hour.

So we made ourselves comfortable and settled in for the wait.  Once the counter opened, the line moved quickly, and the efficient Fiji Air personnel weighed our bags, charged us the expected fee for the extra luggage, and checked the bags through to Honiara.

Our crew was getting sleepy, and it was also way past time to grab some supper.  When SITAG's director showed up to join on us the flight across the ocean, Katherine was snoring on my lap.  By the time we boarded the plane, our bodies felt like it was midnight.

Fiji Air served us supper, and a few hours later they served us breakfast.  Since I wasn't sleeping, I opened up my phone to catch up on my Bible reading since we'd skipped February 1st.  The stars were beautiful, and soon the sun began to flame in the sky, highlighting the clouds below us.
The reading for February 1st was Psalm 18 & 19.  Perfect.  "The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.  Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge.  They have no speech, hey use no words; no sound is heard from them.  Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.  In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun.  It is a like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, like a champion rejoicing to run his course.  It rises at one end of the heavens ad makes is circuit to the other; nothing is deprive of its warmth."  Psalm 19:1-6
The smiles in Fiji were sleepy, but they were still smiles as we were asked to go to the end of the line because of our long layover.  And gratefully, Fiji has redone their International Terminal.  Now, you can lay down on twin size mattresses/lounges in addition to the comfy chairs.  Exactly what I needed after no sleep in more than 24 hours! 

Certainly, no sleeping happened on the last flight from Fiji to Honiara.  The kids got bouncier and more excited the closer we got.  And when we landed, we found two of our favorite people waiting and waving:  Henk and Margreet (you can follow along with their adventures in the Solomon Islands)
What a delight to be in the "Residents" line!
When we finally made it through customs and grabbed our bags, another SITAG couple had arrived with fragrant frangipani leis for each of us.
 After the warm welcome (the welcome matched the heat and humidity!), the kids and bags divided between two vehicles, and Aaron and I drove a third to do some quick shopping to equip the house for the next couple of days until we could do a thorough job.
We couldn't have asked for a smoother trip.  It wasn't an easy trip, but we felt lifted up in prayer every step of the way.  It's good to be home.


Anonymous said…
So, so great to hear about your smooth trip! You're getting to be so good at this, and I'm getting less anxious/sad about it every time (starting to feel "normal" after eight years). Love to you all, and best of luck with the jetlag!

roadonmyjourney said…
So glad to hear your trip was safe and smooth. Even though I haven't crossed the Pacific myself in nearly twelve years, the pictures of LAX and of the sun from the plane still made me all kinds of nostalgic. :-} It makes me smile to hear the kids are happy to be back and that the settling in is going well.
Thoughts and prayers from afar,

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