I can't even begin to tell you all the details of our trip to Niger. Let me just say there was a great deal of near panic at the very end! The day before we left we had to go get our wills signed at the notary, go visit friends who had just had a baby, and make one last stop at Pizza Hut. The kids had a youth event, and we were still packing and sewing name tags on the kids clothes.
We had to call Air France and notify them of our excess baggage. We had started calling on Saturday and still did not have an answer by Thursday morning, the day of our departure. To make a very long and stressful story short, we finally got word that we were allowed 200 kilos excess baggage per person and somehow they thought we had way more than that. They also wanted us to make sure the ink cartridges were out of the printers and that we pulled the beebee gun. So on Thursday morning, we were pulling the printers out of the boxes to get the cartridges out and pulling the gun to be sent on the container that is ready to leave for Niger. Our friend, Jim Knowlton, kindly found room for something he knows is extremely important to Daniel!
To complicate matters, the pastor called and said, "Have you heard the news?" We watched the TV, then, to find the news that we couldn't take any liquids or medicines not properly labeled in our carry-ons. So we had to pull stuff from our carry-ons and find room for them in our suitcases.
Pastor Terry Ribble drove us to the airport in the Grace Bible Church van. The check-in was lengthy, but no problems. The security was also very long and when we got through, our plane was boarding. We were due to take off right on time....but, some passengers were still in security, so we would wait for them. They came, but one more should be arriving soon. They got tired of waiting for him, but his suitcase was on, so they had to get in the cargo hold and find his suitcase and get it off the plane. Then a thunder storm kicked up and the entire airport was shut down. By the time it opened back up, we were about 10th in line to take off. Anyway, long story short...we sat in the plane at JFK for nearly six hours before we took off. Of course, we knew by then that we had missed our flight to Niamey as we only had a four hour lay-over in Paris.
I am posting this story in several segments, so go on to the next entry to read the next installment.