Saturday, August 24, 2013

Faith & Flexibility

I've made it to Manila! The journey here definitely called for some faith and flexibility. Faith because at first I wasn't sure if I was going to be allowed on the plane! And flexibility because always when traveling I've learned it's important to go with the flow, be patient and adapt to the situation.

Let me back up to the part about not being allowed on the plane. I arrived at Dulles airport and proceeded to check in and check my bags. When it came to checking my bags, the attendant at the ticket counter said, "oh you are not returning for a year? Where is your visa?" I explained how I could receive a temporary one upon arrival and then go through the process of getting a year long visa. However, the computer was telling her someone can only receive a visa for 59 days and since my return is longer than 59 days I couldn't board without a visa. I was starting to have a mini heart attack but on the outside tried to remain calm. I started to pray in my head, "Ok, God if you really want me to go to the Philippines, please let me on this plane." After the attendant talked to someone on the phone, though, she said I was good to go. Phew! All I needed was a little faith.

Later, I found out that my traveling companion and other YASCer, Margaret, was having the same issue in Ohio. I was glad to know I wasn't the only one, but was hoping it worked out for her too! It did and we met in Detroit! From Detroit we took a 12 hour plane ride to Nagoya, Japan. I was happy to learn that the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings were available to watch. They took up about eight hours of flying time and then I slept or tried to. It was the longest plane ride I've ever taken and am glad I'm here for a year. It would be a torturous flight for only a week or two week long trip.

After a stop in Japan, where we got off the plane to go through security and got right back on the same plane in the same seat, we had only 3 more hours to get to Manila. There were no problems getting through immigration and customs. Andrew, a current YASCer in the Philippines, picked us up with no problems at the airport. All three of us are staying at the Episcopal Church's National Office for a couple of days in Manila. Then on Monday we will be on our way to our respective cities.

With some faith & flexibility and after 26 hours of traveling, I've made it to the Philippines! Can't wait to share more soon.

Thanks for reading!

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