Thursday, July 05, 2007

A Thurston Back to South Africa

Did a cold ever keep you from school? When it did, did you find yourself looking at the oven's clock and thinking that your classmates were now moving to Mrs. Moulder's math class or back to Mrs. Lands for lessons on cursive writing?

Kim is currently traveling to South Africa and as I am staying back in the US, I am finding that I am having similar thoughts about Kim and her travels. Right now, she should be about 1/3 of the way across the Atlantic toward the southern end of Africa. If I remember correctly, her plane should be preparing to land on a small island off the western coast of north Africa in about 3 hours. I remember being able to look at the the different views provided by the plane's closed circuit television, seeing the runway lights and thinking "Boy that certainly does look pretty darn short for an airliner runway. I remember being told that the whole purpose for this island (and its almost-as-long-as-the-island-runway was to re-fuel long-flight airplanes.

No one is permitted to get off of the plane, but it does provide a middle of the night social experience . Of course, the smell of sleep permeates through the plane, but we tried not to think about that too much.

In about 4 hours from now, she and her fellow travelers will again be airborne for another 9 hours of flight. About that time, they'll again be able to use the on-board cameras to get their first glimpses of South Africa. It'll look a little like the US's southwestern US and a little like Europe (OK, that is not a really good all-encompassing description, but that is the best that I have right now).

Tomorrow morning, at about 8:10am, the kids and I will probably talk about Mom just-now landing in South Africa. We'll talk about how they've had a bath, gone to sleep, eaten breakfast, had an all-day baby sitter, eaten lunch, gone to dinner with Dad, gone to the library, gone to sleep again, and beginning to eat breakfast again --during all of those things that they've done, Mom has been traveling to South Africa.

Traveling to help others, to meet fellow travelers, and (this is the really ironic stuff) to be helped by those who (by "stuff-standards") have less than us.

Here's to the future chirp of the plane's rubber on the asphalt. And to the beginning of the life experiences and the life lessons.

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