I’ve been meaning to write this post for several days now, but this is the first chance that I have gotten to sit down and do so!
So…..I AM home! I got back to Wichita late Tuesday night. I was greeted by my mom, dad, sister, and Jim and Myra – a lovely surprise! :)
My getting home process was a little (okay, a lot) rougher than I hoped. When I got to the Hyderabad airport (at like 4 AM), said my goodbyes to Sean (the only one willing to get up at such an ungodly hour to see me off…I don’t blame Paige and Courtney! ;)), and went inside, I was greeted by the lovely news at the British Airways counter that I don’t have a ticket.
It’s 4 AM, Sean is gone, I just want to go home, and I don’t have a ticket. The man (Indian, of course, speaking in broken English) explains to me that the reservation shows up for these flights, but my ticket still showed up as the Abu Dhabi/Frankfurt flight I was originally taking to go see Bethany in Europe. He told me that there was nothing HE could do, unless I got ahold of my travel agent here in America. He said the ticket simply needed to be released or something and I would be good to go, a simple few minute process. He handed his cell phone over to me and I called the agency which, as I knew it would be because it’s night in America, was closed.
So, I called my mom because I had no idea what else to do. She didn’t answer. So I called again, this time she did thankfully. She agreed to try and get ahold of the agent at home and see what could be done. About this time, Mr. British-Airways-I-Can’t-Do-Anything-For-You picks up the phone and calls the airline. They say, “oh yeah, we can do that!” and the ticket is released within ten minutes.
However, I have no way to let my mom know this because the dude with the cell phone had bolted by now after turning me over to the manager. So, I was good to go but her and Courtney’s parents are frantically trying to get ahold of the agent here in America and bothering him at home when it had already been taken care of. :( (I feel bad about that!) And, the HYD airport has 45 free minutes of Wi-Fi, but of COURSE you have to have an Indian mobile in order to receive a text with the code. So that was out of the question too!
So, I get through customs, blah blah blah, and have plenty of time to kill before my flight. I did a little shopping (I DID find a shop that has some t-shirts and souveniers that say India on them – happy day!) and relaxing before my flight. I got on the plane (no joke – I was the ONLY white person on the entire plane.) and was ecstatic to find that on the two – five – two seat layout, I was in the two seats on the side of the plane, and there was no one next to me! SO I had both an aisle and a window, and was able to curl up on the two seats and sleep SUPER comfortably! What a blessing.
I landed in London, finally was able to let everyone know that I HAD gotten on the plane and was safe in London, went through another round of security and stuff, then had some time to eat a few snacks before getting to the gate for my flight to DFW. There was a LONG line to get checked in at the gate (I’m guessing that this is an increased security measure due to the Olympics? I’ve never had to check in at a gate before…) but I got on the plane and was ELATED to find that I had the SAME seating arrangement as last time – the two seats on the outside row, and, again, NO ONE NEXT TO ME! I smiled and said a thank you to God. Little did I know how much more important this arrangement would be on this flight…
About four hours in, I started to feel awful. Stomach ache, headache, light headed….just terrible. I knew it wasn’t motion sickness (I’ve never had problems on a plane before, and this was a different feeling than that would have been) but I wasn’t sure WHAT it was. Of course, this was “sleeping time”, so it was forever before a flight attendant walked by that I could ask for water. She said, “sure!” and never brought me water. By now, I was scared to stand up and walk to the bathroom, certain I would pass out and cause an emergency landing and all that. So I sat for a bit longer, praying like crazy that I wouldn’t die on this airplane, and finally felt confident enough to get up and go to the bathroom. I wiped my face down with a wet paper towel and just drank as much sink water as I could in the bathroom. It helped a little bit, but not for long. I was back and forth to the bathroom several times – super grateful that there was no one in the aisle seat next to me that I would have to keep climbing over! (Like I said, I had no idea what a blessing it would be at the beginning of the flight!)
I eventually got some water finally, as well as some Sprite. I finally felt confident that I could lay down and close my eyes without dying (I was seriously worried for a bit :P) so I did that and got some rest. Each time I woke up I felt a little better, and by the time we landed six hours later, I felt a little better. I still didn’t feel great and was pretty weak, but good enough that I was sure I could get through the airport and make it home.
We landed, I got through security, and called my mom to complain about how miserable I felt. I got to the gate, then went off and found some pretzels and gatorade which helped quite a bit. I sat for a long time as our flight back to Wichita was delayed. But I finally boarded the short flight to Wichita and made it HOME! I was exhausted, still felt awful, and was just super weak. I practically collapsed into my dad as he hugged me, then made it to the baggage claim where I stood spaced off with the tea I was brought in my hands. Jim and Myra showed up, which was great and I loved seeing them and more hugs. They brought me tea too, so when my first one was finished, we dumped theirs right in and I was good to go! :)
I got my suitcase, walked out, and collapsed in the car. Got some food, then made the journey HOME! Hutchinson has truly never felt as great as it did then! I went home, took my first shower that I could control the temperature on in a month (with high pressure to boot!), and crawled into my BED! The first BED I had slept on in a month as well!
I slept pretty darn well, and got up Wednesday morning and went to work at 11:30 for the afternoon shift. It was SO GREAT to be back behind the counter – the place I missed most while I was gone, for SURE!
The past couple of days have just been a lot of catching up with people, getting back in the swing of things, and a little extra sleep. :) (I would say that I have given jetlag a run for it’s money though – I have had minimal issues with it!) I am so grateful to be home and am looking forward to being back at Westside on Sunday!
I’ll be doing a few more posts soon along the lines of reflection and such. Keep an eye out for them! :)
Thanks to all who followed me, prayed for me, and sent me encouragement while I was gone! It was all SUPER appreciated! :)