Today I'll talk about the day we arrived, and the life-changing journey began. (How's that for a good "hook"? My English professor would be proud.)
We got off to an early start, meeting at the airport at some time in the early morning that I don't remember right now. The new experiences began right away for me, because I had never even been in an airport before. I stood with my group and waited for everyone to arrive, and then we went through the normal check-in process. It all felt pretty surreal, partly because I had gotten up so early and didn't feel fully awake, but mostly because I couldn't believe it was actually finally happening. All the preparing and planning was done, and the adventure was beginning.
When we finally got on the plane, it was not like I had imagined it would be. Since the first flight only took us as far as Florida, we were on a very small plane and I was near the front in a seat that had no seats beside it, and everyone else was behind me where I couldn't easily see them. It was then that I worried that I would hate flying, because I still had one more flight ahead of me that day and then two more when we came back. But when we took of, I was happy to discover that I actually enjoy flying. There's something about being in the clouds and looking down on the world that seems very profound to me. For the rest of that flight I spent a lot of time just looking out the window and thinking about the days ahead. I made my first journal entry of the trip, which is funny to look back on because of how fascinated I was by such a common thing.
We soon landed in Florida, at what must be the biggest airport ever. It seemed to take forever to get from one side to the other. We did have time to eat at a restaurant in the airport, and that's when I discovered everyone's fascination with my dietary habits. If they try to tell you that chicken tenders are the only food I eat, don't believe them! That just happens to be a common restaurant food that I enjoy. Jokes aside, this is when I really started to bond with the people I would be sharing my adventures with, and I loved the feeling of being part of a team. Soon we were in the air again, heading to the place that would challenge us more than we knew, show us things we didn't expect, and seal the team bond that we had begun to form. Next week I'll share with you what it was like the first time we visited the orphanage.