September 15th 2016
After going through training at AFM, my mind was so mentally ready to be in Africa. I was excited to learn a new language and eat different foods. Though I guess not many truly realize how real jet-leg and culture shock really are. The traveling from Nebraska was okay. In fact, I felt like the day and a half trip went by in a couple of hours. There were some small glitches, like how none of my tickets worked at any of the check in stations, or how whenever I went through security I was pulled aside so they could double check my bag.
The plane ride from Nebraska to Minneapolis was short and nice. I was able to check my guitar easily into the plane at the gate, and the flight attendants were helpful. In flight, I decided to check and see what time my next flight boards. Come to find out, the next flight was going to start boarding before we were even going to land in Minneapolis. Yep. I thought I was doomed to stay longer in the US, though when the plane landed I was able to quickly get my guitar and look where my next flight was located. Of course, it wasn’t listed. Okay, well I can ask someone. I asked one of the flight attendants and she looked as if she was upset at me asking. I told her that my flight was not up there and she said in a firm tone as if I didn’t know I had to hurry, “the plane will not wait for you.” In the end she told me that my flight had already left. But thankfully I knew better and decided to book it to the gate.
Once I arrived at the gate, I realized though it was a flight to Paris, it was not my flight. Okay, so now where do I go. Thankfully the flight attendant at that gate told me the right gate and told me to hurry. After running to the other side of the airport, I now realized that I had to keep running, for the gate that I was supposed to be on was in a different terminal! Thankfully I reached the gate and was able to board. In fact, I was not the last person to board. I really thought that I was going to be the last person. Thankfully not. One of the flight attendants were more than helpful. I asked where I should leave my guitar so it could be put underneath the plane, but she said that I should not worry and that I can put it in her coat closet! So nice. I made my way back the my seat and realized that not only was it a window seat, but I had the seat next to it all to myself!
When I got to Paris I made my way over to the TV to see where my next flight would be, and to my surprise, it was not there. I asked the flight attendant and after she told me where to go, I started to make my way there. I didn’t realize that I would have to go through security again, but thankfully it was an easy process. I made my way to the gate where I eventually met up with the two other SM’s. Once we got to Conakry, we went through customs and came to get our bags. We were warned about people that would try to help us for money, but I didn’t realize that they would be on our side of security. Somehow they ended up pushing our things anyway. We made our way out to the parking lot where we met Uncle Joshua and Uncle Fred.
As we made our way through Conakry towards Fria, I realized that traffic has no rules here. Yep. People drove right down the middle, left, AND right side of the streets. Along with traffic, I realized that there are serious road issues. Well, mainly just a ton of rocks, potholes, and really reckless motorcycle drivers. By the time we were half way to Fria the all of us were so tired. We tried to sleep, but with the intense cold (yes the nights can get cold here) the car was fogging up so bad that the windows had to be rolled down. Though it didn’t help much, we were able to keep going since we were the only ones on the road to Fria at that time. Every once in a while there would be a car to pass by, and there were milita check points, so we saw a few people.
The militia check points were pretty interesting. They stopped our car and had us take out our passports so they could see we had visas, then they would insist on us getting out so they could see if it was truly us, but Uncle Fred knew better and told them that we were not going to get out of the car. Here in Guinea people seem to get upset with each other, and sometimes they are upset. But most of the times it only looks like they are angry with each other and we end up smiling and laughing away from the checkpoint.
When we reached Fria we put our bags inside and headed down to the career missionaries’ house to eat. We had an interesting dish called oleleh ( sounds like “Oh-leh-leh”). It’s similar to a vegetarian hotdog, but made by boiling beans, garlic, onion, tomato paste, hot peppers, maggi seasonings, and pepper. You blend it and boil it in bags so that it sticks together to form a substance. When we finished eating the night became a blur of meeting so many new people. We said our goodnights and the three of us went home to go to sleep. Thankfully it’s the rainy season so the rain on our tin roof put me to sleep quite quickly.
All in all, God is good! He got me here safely and continues to watch over me and my new family here. Maranatha! Maranatha! Jésus reviens bientôt!