Sunday morning our team gathered at 8 am, packed the bus, hugged our friends and family, prayed together and then headed to the Columbia airport. It was thankfully an uneventful trip, we got our bags checked and waited in the quiet airport. I think the Sunday of a holiday weekend is not their peak time, in fact, we were checked in at the counter and greeted at the terminal by the same two workers. But we made it to Atlanta, were able to find some lunch and coffee, then made our way to our gate. After we boarded around 3 pm, you did just what you want before an 8+ hour flight, we waited on the runway. There was a storm north of Atlanta, so all flights were headed South, causing a good case of hurry up and wait. Thankfully the weather did not cause any big issues and we were able to take off close to 3:45 pm. This is where we had to settle in for the long haul. I had hopes of relaxing while watching a movie, having a little dinner and then crashing for a 5 hour nap. The first two happened, but that sleep was hard to find for most of our team. I kept thinking, if I fall asleep now, I will get maybe 4 hours of sleep. Well if I fall asleep now, I will get 3 hours of sleep, etc. And of course, this always keeps you awake. The thing that was able to save our sanity was a good selection of tv shows and movies that we could each choose on our individual mini screens.
So the flight eventually landed around 5:50 am local time in Amsterdam. We found a little café with good espresso drinks and made to order omelets. A few of us were a little shocked when we saw the conversion ratio for the coffee which was priced in euros (making Starbucks look cheap). But we each found a little something for first breakfast, spent our layover talking in the dining area and then made our way to our gate.
Our flight from Amsterdam to Bucharest was pretty quick, less than 3 hours, but quite a few of us finally got a little sleep. We landed at 1 pm local time (7 hours ahead of SC), were very relieved that we found all of our bags and meet our driver. We loaded up in his new bus, and started our 3-3.5 drive to Draganesti-Olt. We stopped at a restaurant in Alexandria, had a good dinner (nice to not have it packed in some sort of plastic) and then finished our drive to the Wepplers.
It is now 10:00 pm here, we have been spending some time relaxing together, getting connected to the internet (some a little easier than others), skyped our family, and got in line for a shower. We are setting down for the night, ready to sleep in a real bed and looking forward to what the Lord has in store for the coming week!