Airports are a hyperreality. It’s kind of like a microscopic view of life. In the airport, you give one impression to people. That impression comes through your demeanor, what you’re wearing, and the speed with which you walk. When I was in Dulles (Washington D.C.), I asked one person for directions when I was a little bit lost in the airport. I get lost everywhere, this is a theme. Who did I ask? Not the guy in the business suit, or the lady with two kids. I asked the guy who was wearing Merrell’s. It looked like he travels a lot. Cool British chap. Anyway, everything we do sends signals. If you want some random Okie with a beard asking you for directions in an airport, then wear Merrell’s.
Flight time is a fascinating thing. At first, I wasn’t excited about a 26 hour trip. The trip gave me time to say goodbye in my heart to the U.S. of A., and to prepare for what was coming in South Africa. I ended up travelling with some people who were really nice, a lawyer from Houston, and a just declared Ph.D from South Africa. You never know who you’ll meet where, but it sure is a blessing when the Lord gives you enjoyable people to travel with. Did I ever tell you about the long trip where there was a baby next to me? Yeah, anyway…
When I got into Cape Town, I got my luggage from baggage claim. As I walked out of the gate, guess who was there? Kent. And Dale and Tammy. And Jeff and Teresa McIlroy. It was like Tulsa Light. We drove out to the Dicksons, and there I got to see Roger and Martha, and Cecil and Carolyn Cusler. Kent and I sat out by the fire last night, as I got in here at 9:30. Anyway, as we were sitting by the fire, Dale came up behind me and put a hand on my shoulder and said, “Dave, you’re in Africa…you’re in Africa, Dave.” (It was the “wow” voice Dale uses.) Then this morning, I sat down for an (early) breakfast. Dale walked up behind me and put his hand on my shoulder and said, “Dave, you’re at the table. Wow.” You only understand this moment if you know Dale. It’s crazy. That guy can make “the table” an epic event.
Then Kent and I went and met with some people. And got some cell phone stuff set up. And then did more stuff. And then went for a walk in the neighborhood where we live. And Kent stopped and talked to his friends Jarri and Claussy (Yarri and Classy with Classy being said like you would say “ah” instead of “a”. I probably didn’t spell their names correctly), right after we saw this cool little dog who was on a walk with his family. The dog had a crazy amount of saggy skin around his face, cute little dog who wanted to be friends. Anyway, we hung out with them for a while. Kent met them one day because he saw the cross on their door, so he started talking to them, and now they’re my friends too. And we had a braai together tonight, my first South African braai. For more info, google the word “braai.”
On another note, while you were sleeping, I was awake today. Yes, this is for all you in America. It’s a cool thing to be living in an area while the people you love sleep. You get to pray for them, that they enjoy this day just as much as you do. That is better for them, and they wake up with their hearts encouraged by the Lord.
One of the weird things about waking up in another nation is going, “Oh wow, I’m really here.” Another thing is that you find out a little more about what is important to you. I’m really thankful for so many people who have revealed love to me. I treasure my family in my heart even more. My friends, I miss you all. Today, I’m thankful for you.
On another note, I fell asleep at the Braai. Nothing like waking up on your brand new friends couch, completely disoriented by jet lag. On that note, I will begin to head towards my pillow. Thanks again for all the love.