After two missed flights/connections, hours on hold waiting for my travel agency to rebook a flight, an overnight stay at Lansdowne Resort in D.C., and an hour waiting for Ethiopian Airlines to relocate my luggage – I am finally sitting at Gate D23, where I am supposed to be, getting ready to board Flight 503 to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
I think it was somewhere between having a nervous breakdown from having missed the first flight out to Dulles and realizing that my re-booked flight to Dulles had “technical” issues and I wasn’t going to make it to Ethiopia after all, that I suddenly began to laugh and see the whole ordeal as, how my friend aptly put it, “a comedy of errors.”
It really was.
Between running around the airport, ensuring my baggage had been transferred, and rescheduling my pick-up from Kigali, so much else that could go wrong did go wrong – my cell phone died, it started to thunderstorm in D.C., they crammed people like sardines into a suffocating van for a 30-minute ride to the hotel – but through it all, I am SO GLAD things worked out the way they did. I had many more hours to say goodbye to my friends and family, I was able to send last-minute text messages to try to keep a friendship from falling apart, I called my grandma, I put my United food voucher to good use. In addition, I am so glad I was the inefficient packer that I was and still brought a change of clothes, toiletries, everything despite the rolled eyes and skepticism of (ahem) certain friends (insert smug “i-told-you-so”). I’m also delighted that I will be arriving in Kigali at noon on Tuesday, instead of 1:45 AM, so I can see the city as I land!
I had all my attention focused on my projects in Kigali that I never anticipated encountering problems just getting out of the country – even just from O’Hare to Dulles. For a moment yesterday, I admit I had doubts and I asked my dad, a pastor, “Why is all of this happening?” His response: “I don’t think God is trying to prevent you from going to Rwanda, but maybe he is humbling you to prepare you for the challenges to come.”
Dear God, if that really is Your intention, You’re on the right track. Now, instead of panicking when things go wrong, I laugh. I am learning to be surprised by nothing so that I can be ready for everything.