The long awaited day is finally here. My daughter and I head to Romania today. We've been planning, prepping, raising funds, praying, working and training for this day right here. It's my daughter's first LONG international flight. She went to the Bahamas when she was two years old but I don't think that counts as a long flight. Our flights went from Denver to Munich, Germany with a four hour layover and then on to Budapest. When we flew to New Mexico in March we had some hiccups in our journey that led to us being awake for over 24 hours. She struggled with it majorly and had to deal with it the whole week we were there. Making better travel time choices on this trip is paramount to avoiding jet-lag and major fatigue. I didn't have jet-lag at all when I went to Africa because I timed my sleep and travel well. And because God is gracious!
I love traveling to European countries. The people facinate me. I people watch a lot anyway but I do it more in Europe than I usually do. I listen to the accents and the way they look and talk to each other. German sounds like they are singing with every word they say. It's actually a very beautiful language. When we landed in Germany, we met back up with Addy, a team member that we met up with in Denver. Our mission: Starbucks. I needed a German mug to add to my collection since I was here back in 2010 when I was on another assignment for Gospel for Asia. I was supposed to be in England, but the Icelandic volcano erupted several weeks before my trip leading to an ash cloud that grounded all flights in Europe for almost a week. It was insane. I was pregnant with my second which made the adventure quite different than most. I needed to find random people all over Europe to give me the injections that kept my daughter alive. I ended up taking a bus from Copenhagen, Denmark all through Europe where we passed through Germany. Hence, why I need a German Starbucks mug. We didn't find the Starbucks but another coffee shop inside the airport. When we fly back home we fly into Frankfurt and I'll find a mug then.
Our flights to Germany were uneventful, which is wonderful. We had some sweet people move their seats around so Skylar and I could sit next to each other. They had this awesome feature where there are cameras on the outside of the plane and you can literally watch your entire flight from a bird's eye view. We watched movies, edited sessions and slept. I am so excited to see how God uses this trip to create something spectacular. I love how He calls the unqualified and then uses them to do amazing things. I am unqualified. I love people and giving their stories a voice. But I have high functioning depression and anxiety like so many others in my career field. While I love what I do, love humanitarian and mission work, and travel, I still have impressive anxiety before any international trips. Which makes the week leading up to the trip almost unbearable. God still uses me. I don't need to be perfect, I just need to be willing. I am a broken human being and He uses me in big ways that I probably don't even see all the time. And He will use me here too. My daughter is thirteen. He will use her, a child, in a big way here too. Because she is willing. Her biggest excitements on this trip are to tell the kids about Jesus, the food in Romania and the local animals. In that order. My daughter is the furthest thing from bold. She's shy and has a majorly difficult time even ordering food from the wait staff at resturants. But when people ask her why we are going to Romania she boldly says, "To tell the kids there about Jesus." There's not a hint of embarassment or shyness in her when she says that. That's some big stuff right there.
The key to international travel is coffee, my friends. Lots of it.
We found a lovely sitting area that we camped out at while we waited for our flights to Budapest.
The one thing you can count on from home will always be Coke. Going to Africa...Coke. Going to Europe...Coke. Going to the Mexico....Coke. Everywhere I have ever been internationally there has been Coke. And it makes me insanely happy. There won't be anything else American, but there will be always be Coke. We all know of my love affair with Coke. It's glorious. Dear CEO of Coca-Cola. Thank you for being a marketing genius so that every single country has your products.
This airport literally looked like the Eataly in Las Vegas. I loved it. The prices were about as high. Two cokes, two bottles of water and a teeny coffee was 19 Euros...
We had a four hour layover in Munich before boarding another plane to Budapest. We needed to hang at the airport for a few hours waiting for the rest of our team to arrive. The exhaustion set in for Skylar and I needed to buy her a hot chocolate with a shot of espresso in it so she would stay awake and not have jet-lag tomorrow.
When we finally met up with the majority of our team we grabbed our luggage and jumped in our ginormous van transportation. I ended up taking a bunch with my iPhone XR because my camera was literally buried at my feet. The best camera is the one that you have with you! I can't get them to upload here for some reason though.