Thursday, August 12, 2010

An Eventful yet UN-eventful First Few Days

(written Wednesday (8/11) evening and posted Thursday morning)

It’s been an eventful and yet very un-eventful first few days of this trip. It always amazes me how tiring it is to travel. I left for the airport around 12 noon on Sunday and when we arrived at the Hotel Southern Blue in Nairobi, Kenya I had been on three airplanes that took me from St. Louis to Chicago…Chicago to Amsterdam and then finally from Amsterdam to Nairobi. Almost 27 hours had gone by with nothing more than a couple of short cat-naps on the airplanes. We arrived at our hotel at around 11:00 pm. After a plate of French fries it was time for bed and I had no trouble falling asleep and a Tylenol pm made sure I slept through the night to reset my body clock for the new time zone that is 8 hours earlier than home.

So, it was later Monday night (Kenya time) when we arrive at our hotel. Unfortunately, we had two pieces of luggage that were missing so we spent nearly three hours trying to track them down. Because of our delay, Pastor Charles decided that he must have missed us so he went to our hotel. When he didn’t find us there he went to another hotel where CLC visitors have stayed before. He then returned to our hotel but it must have been just before we arrived. He came to visit the next morning and we were happy to greet him and a few of the men and students he is working to train in area congregations.

We are now on a (much to our dismay) 24 hour layover in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Our odd flight times have played a part in the eventful yet un-eventful first few days. Since our flight out of Nairobi left at 2:00 in the morning, Pastor Charles assumed it was the next day so he thought we had another full day in Nairobi so he scheduled a pastoral training seminar for some of the students and pastors he is training. These men came quite a distance. Unfortunately the 2:00 am flight prevented us from having the seminar because we had to go to the office of Ethiopian Airlines to confirm our tickets to the Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) since there had been some problems with the reservations. It was a good thing we went to the office because our seats were reserved but not paid for. For some reason the website was unable to accept my credit card for two tickets at the same time. Once the tickets were paid for and our seat confirmed we were able to rest a bit easier. But unfortunately, we were unable to conduct the seminar that Pastor Charles had arranged. We rescheduled it for the day we return from the DRC. Now back to the un-expected layover in Ethiopia. After our early 2:00 flight took us to Entebbe in Uganda to pick up more passengers we arrived in Addis Ababa to change flights for the final leg into Lubumbashi, DRC. Everything seemed to be going according to schedule until we could find our flight listed on the departure boards. Once we found the customer service counter we found out that our flight was not today at 9:45 am but tomorrow. I’m still not sure how this happened. It was back in May when these flight reservations were made so the only thing I can figure out is that flights must have been added or dropped from the schedule since then. We tried to talk the airlines into a free hotel for the day/night but they wouldn’t budge, but they did give us the discounted price and shuttle service and meals so it wasn’t all bad. We are staying in a very nice hotel, taking naps, writing blogs, and waiting for the wireless internet to come alive again. They have been working on the wi-fi since we checked in. It comes and goes but mostly goes for now.

While the trip has been un-eventful in that we haven’t had the opportunity to preach or teach yet, it has had plenty of the un-expected. But the Lord has kept us safe and healthy and we are appreciative of this day of rest and catch-up. It will be good to spend the afternoon looking over teaching notes. It will also be good to get a nap since we were up all last night again.

Thank you for your prayers! I’m not sure what our internet capabilities will be in the DRC but I will post again as soon as possible.

From the Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Airport eary Thursday (8/12) morning...
In Christ,
Pastor Ohlmann

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