Getting There

Getting There July 4, 2011

I can’t exactly verify this fact since the window next to my seat is black as ink at the moment, but the in-flight navigation system insists we are currently cruising over the Bay of Bengal.

The Bay of Bengal?  Seventh grade geography class, anyone?

All night long, in fact I’ve watched our progress flying over parts of the world I’ve never even been near: Russia, Turkey, Afghanistan, India, Nepal….  It’s kind of like falling asleep and waking up on the entire other side of the world.  Although, truth be told, so far there has been very little sleep involved in this experience.

I left Washington on Saturday in the early evening.  Best I can tell, it’s something like 8 am Monday morning right now.  Though I’ve lived overseas for a lot of my life and traveled extensively, I can’t help but sit and count the thousands of miles slowly ticking by all the while marveling at the fact that this huge machine full of people has somehow been hurtling through the air for about 12 hours now.

This is the end of leg two plus a five hour layover in London, and we’re about ready to land—finally—in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.  Meetings of the Baptist World Alliance begin this afternoon at 4:30 (I did say it was Monday, didn’t I?).  I confess the things I’m most wishing for at the moment are not interesting cultural experiences but more like a hot shower and a bed.

We’re almost there, I know, because we just ate breakfast—green beans with rice and a spicy shrimp curry sauce with peanuts and dried anchovies for garnish…and, even as I long for a shower, with each bite (it’s really good, by the way) my anticipation grows.  So much to learn, so many new adventures to experience.

It starts right now, by finally enough morning light filtering in through the windows so I can look outside and see the Andaman Sea below…which, by the way, I cannot ever recall learning about in seventh grade geography class.

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