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  • Writer's pictureJana McMillan

August 2023

This is the day! Mikey and I will fly alone, and we will fly through Turkey! I have been a nervous wreck all week. If you know me, you know I do not like change or the unknown! So, for us to fly without Michael is entirely out of my comfort zone; add in an airport I've never been to, and to me, it just spells disaster. So, I'm sure I have convinced myself that we will never make it to Moshi! Now, Mikey, on the other hand, is so excited that we are going to fly Turkish Air because he says going to Turkey is on his "bucket list."

Two of our daughters, Janeal and Wilma, drove us to San Francisco on Tuesday afternoon since we needed to be at the airport by 10 a.m. on Wednesday, and we didn't want the hassle of 8 a.m. traffic! Also, we wanted extra time because we were nervous about the weight of our suitcases and carry-on bags. The website was unclear on weight, but as we checked in, we were below the limit in all our bags, which was a relief. The girls waited as we went through all the checkpoints and gave a final wave before we went to our gate. I will tell you, I cried. I had a flashback of leaving two little girls in 2009, then they were only 8 and 3 years old, now they are 22 and 17, but it felt the same! It felt like I was leaving my heart behind!

Mikey and I found our gate and then looked for somewhere more comfortable to wait out the next 3 hours. Our flight was delayed 30 min, the reason unknown, but soon it was time to board. This first leg of the journey was the long part. We are flying to Istanbul, Turkey, 12 hours and 50 minutes. The plane is very nice and clean. We then find our seats and have a charming young lady as a seatmate. So I am by the window, Mikey in the middle, much to his dismay, and she has the aisle seat. Soon, the attendants come through and give everyone a packet. Usually, this is a toothbrush, toothpaste, eye mask, and socks, but this packet has actual slippers instead of non-slip socks! This tickled Mikey! He said, “It is a good Dad isn’t here because there is no way these slippers would fit him!” Also, they gave us a menu to choose what we wanted to eat before the flight attendants arrived at our seats. The food was excellent, and Mikey was pretty happy about Salmon! We landed in Istanbul, and after a 6-hour layover, we were loading our last flight to Moshi. 7 hours and 10 min later, it is 1:50 a.m., and we have made it to Tanzania. Customs and bag checks pushed our arrival time to 3:30a.m, but what a welcoming it was to be home!

The following days were spent unpacking, adjusting to the time change, and starting school for Mikey. We even got our traditional “First day of school front porch” photo.

I am most excited about our new appliances and having a kitchen to cook in. Michael purchased and installed the stove and refrigerator. He also surprised me with a painted master bathroom, a few shelves for our belongings, and some wall decor. He was very proud of this surprise, and it was a beautiful sight for me!

I want to extend a huge thank you to our home church in California that graciously provided the funds to supply us with the appliances because it truly has made our house feel more like home. This blessing may seem small to some, but to me, it was an answer to prayer.



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