A little bit of foreshadowing to start out our adventures…on every single one of our flights we were in very close proximity to a crying baby, child, or adolescent for that matter. We both tried to sleep on the plane to Paris as much as possible but excitement and our 2 hour delayed departure made that a bit difficult. We arrived in Paris at 140pm and HOPED to be back at the airport by 6pm so we were short on time but the mission was to get a picture in front of the Eiffel tower and get a crepe and we were doing everything to make it happen. As we were making our way through customs we were getting our passports stamped by the fine French immigration gentleman and he says to me “merci” to which I replied “bonjour” then he says “merci” to Rachel to which she replies “beaucoup” (needless to say neither one of us took French in high school or college). Had we landed in Spain both of us would have known the perfect reply. At that point it was best to just leave the conversation before anything else could be done or said. On to paris we go! We got some great news at CDG that our bags would be meeting us in Kilimanjaro and we didn’t have to do a thing about them before then! Sigh of relief for sure! We made it to the train and rode into Paris where we were lost immediately. We both blame it on our lack of sleep because we are excellent navigators in real life! So after a 40 minute, 17 euro train ride we got off at the wrong stop and walked aimlessly for some time before a lovely Parisian lady informed us that 1. Its called tour de effel and 2. It was far too long of a walk. Insert taking a taxi to the Eiffel tower. Once there we had about 30 minutes to get all the pictures we wanted and we were privy to an “Americas best dance crew style” street performance. Rachel recalled there being crepes on every corner but alas there were none to be found anywhere that we needed to go. There was also no starbucks to be found so no mug from paris for rach L. We never found the ever elusive Parisian crepe and I waited for a good 15 minutes for a one person self cleaning bathroom that should have been cleaner for all the time it spent cleaning itself, but did nothing but give me a wet toilet to sit on. From there we determined the correct train to get us back to CDG but of course that’s not the train we decided to get on, nor was it one of the next 3 trains we decided to get on. After some following of other people who had bags and looked like they were going to the airport as well we did finally make it on the right train. Let’s keep in mind that Rachel has a 40lb backpack on and I am lugging an awful duffle bag that is circa 1972 and has wheels that even under the smoothest of pavement doesn’t like to stay on both of them. We were exhausted at this point to say the least. Not exactly the best scenario to be getting on yet another 7.5 hour flight overnight. We did some stretches in the airport and then it was time to board Kenya airways aka “the pride of Africa” and Rachel and I were delighted that we were sitting in the ‘safari class’. That means next to last row by the engine surrounded by more babies. We did manage to sleep a lot on that flight due to the glorious humming of the engine lulling us to sleep.
Sunday, May 30, 2010
We are on the plane headed to Paris, 3 hours delayed but excited and ready to begin this journey. We ended up needing to print something before we left, our work permit for immigration, and can I tell you how hard it is to find a printer in the airport? Took us over an hour but we finally found one nice lady who would help us. It is amazing how rude people can be. Anyways, here we go! We land in Paris at 13:30 and are heading straight to the eiffel tower! It is supposed to be 60 degrees which will be nice after the warm atl weather we are leaving. Thanks for all your love and support. Keep the people of Tanzania and us in your prayers. On the way home from dropping us at the airport kinber's mom heard the song "you're safe in His arms", great sign! Much love to you all, rag and kjm
Posted by RAG at 11:15 PM
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Kimber and I will be heading to volunteer at Cradle of Love, in Usa River, Tanzania. Cradle of Love is a baby home that takes in infants from newborn until they are about two years old, or able to eat solid food. The organization frequently takes in children who are not being taken care of, or no long have a mother who can feed them. Once they are old enough to be taken care of by the family, the child is often returned to relatives. Once babies are too old for COL, as we will refer to it from here out, they are either returned to family, adopted by a Tanzanian citizen, or moved to another home. We found this organization through Hallie, a friend of ours from church who spent time at COL a year or so ago.
COL asks its volunteers to spread awareness about the need in Africa, and so Kimber and I have sent out letters so close family and friends. We have been overwhelemed by the generous donations from people we love and cannot thank you all enough for the support. We are anticipating the opportunity to see that money at work saving and changing lives at COL.
While money is much needed at COL, Kimber and I also request the prayers of anyone who can support us in that way. We are hoping to be the hands and feet of Christ on this journey but know that we are only human, bound to fall short. Please pray for our strength, wisdom, courage and skills to fully give ourselves to the people of Tanzania for our brief 40 day journey.
Posted by RAG at 2:17 PM
It is official....Kimber and I will be traveling to Tanzania from May 30th through July 7th. I have been wanting to combine my love of babies with my passion for Christ for quite some time and everything has finally fallen into place. I am beyond excited and thankful for the opportunity to serve. I was set on going before I knew Kimber could join me and I cannot express how thrilled I am to share this experience with her.
I am 25 years old, live in Atlanta, GA and attend Peachtree Presbyterian Church as part of the 11o5 community. Right now, I am teaching 5th grade at Trinity School. I am completing my second year there, and have really enjoyed the people and students. However, after returning from Africa, I am headed to the Dallas/Ft. Worth area to hopefully continue teaching. Lots of big changes going on in my life now, and I am filled with excitement for what is to come, and sadness for what I am leaving.
Family is very important to me, I have two older sisters, two brother-in-laws, two neices and three nephews! The Pearsons live in San Antonio and the Pa'us (as well as my parents until October) are living in England. While everyone is far away, they are much closer than Kuwait, S. Korea, Georgia, and Texas (which was the case not too long ago). I love to travel, meet new people and take pictures.
A Little About Kimber....
I'm 24 and also live in Atlanta and go to Peachtree Presbyterian Church. I live with my sister, her hubs, and my precious dog Georgia. I graduated from Georgia State as a psychology major and I want to go back to grad school to be a professional therapist. Until then, I'm nannying/babysitting, and working at a boutique in the highlands. I love my family, traveling, and experiencing new people and cultures.
Posted by RAG at 10:22 AM