Start of the trip and transit in Paris

Trip Start Sep 08, 2013
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13
Trip End Oct 04, 2013


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Flag of France  , Île-de-France,
Monday, September 9, 2013

My usual autumn trip has begun for 2013. It will shorter than usual this year due to our recent house move from the Cincinnati area to the Dallas area. The move hasn't been easy; there have been quite a number of complications, the latest of which was that the painter we’ve hired wasn’t able to meet his deadline to repaint our house in Plano. So when our moving van arrived Friday, we just had the movers pile all our things in the middle of each room, leaving the walls clear so he can complete the work. It doesn’t really feel like we’ve moved in, and my dutiful wife will have to deal with that for a week before leaving to meet me in France. She quipped to me that I always do that to her when we move in a new house: have the movers fill the house with boxes and then I leave for Africa or somewhere and she does the lion’s share of the unpacking and organizing. She said it as a joke, but it’s actually pretty true, though not by design.

As for me I’m not on my way to Burundi. I’m now in Paris, but still have a long trip before me. I left Dallas yesterday at 1:00 pm on a flight to Boston, where I had only a few minutes before boarding the overnight flight to Paris. Here I have a 3 hour layover before an even longer flight to Nairobi, which I will leave just before midnight local time for a flight to Bujumbura via Kigali. I should arrive at a little before 2:00 am (!) and hopefully grab a little sleep before getting going with the day’s activities.

The world seems a little grumpy at the moment. When I boarded the Boston Paris flight, I put my carryon bag and jacket in the overhead bin just opposite my seat as I usually do. It’s easier to keep an eye on things across the aisle rather that right overhead. Shortly after I settled in an older couple came to the seats opposite me and the man immediately shoved my bag over and wadded my jacket in over it. I stood and refolded my jacked and he asked me angrily, "if that your stuff?’ When I said it was, he blurted, “Why don’t you use your own side?" I replied calmly that it was easier to keep an eye on one’s things across the aisle rather than right above one’s head. He stopped and thought about that for a moment, and then, complained to his wife, “Well if he’s going to use our side we may as well use his”, and moved their affairs from over their seat to over mine.

Then on arrival in Paris the ground staff seemed imperious and especially unhelpful. But drivers would only give a minimum of unhelpful information to frustration transit passengers. Wrong information was given and so on. When I got to the airline lounge which I have a right to use with my Delta frequent flyer card, the attendant told that I didn’t really have a right to use their services, but “exceptionally” she would allow me in. She was posing for some new girls she was apparently training. I kept a straight face – on the outside. So in this corner of the world, things seem a bit “techy” this morning. Perhaps things will be better in Africa….

This trip should take me to Burundi, Rwanda and Togo before heading back to Europe. I had intended to visit the DRC and Cote d’Ivoire as well but the way our move worked out, there wasn’t time. I’ll try to make that up early next year.
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Comments

Judy Dane on

Thank you for your blog. Prayers for your safety!

loma and roma on

Prayers as always. Wanted to make the ox roast in wv but just too far at the time. Really wanted to meet you in person and thank you for your service. So I guess you can consider yourself thanked ;-) have a great FOT......

Sara H. on

Best wishes and many prayers for a safe journey, Mr. Meeker! So sorry that you had to endure grouchiness first thing in the morning - I hate it when that happens. People seem to be very short-tempered these days, in general. It always reminds me of the descriptors in Timothy, of people in the last days...
Have a wonderful Day of Atonement and Feast of Tabernacles!

mary hendren on

Hi Joel,
Your comment "the world seems a little grumpy at the moment" perhaps is an understatement, and you're kindly giving the world you encounter the benefit of politeness. For those unseen waves of discontent that surround us, your blog is an antidote. You include examples of patience in the face of delays, frustration and rudeness. You help us see some of the beautiful things of real importance.

Mary

TESS WASHINGTON on

Have a wonderful & profitable trip Mr. Meeker! You and your wife have both shown that we are a light to this darkening world! You both still do the job inspite of the difficulties, sour moods and attitudes of those you're encountering along the way! May our brethrens appreciate the sacrifices you both are making to see them before the Holydays! We all appreciate the work you do and the time you take to write these blogs!

Ted Franek on

Thanks for your blog Mr Meeker. It is really good to hear of your travels and all the effort you take to write of them. I second the comment Mrs Hendren made in her post. People are very edgy these days but you are showing to be that light in the darkness we contend with. Best regards on your trip...may it be very profitable.
Our prayers are with you, the brethren there (and your wife with the house of boxes).

Nancy Sylor on

Greetings Mr. Meeker,

Thank you for letting us know you are traveling again. We will enjoy traveling with you and "visiting" the brethren via your blog. Take care and Godspeed

Nancy

Carolyn Raines on

So glad to be getting your blogs again (we had changed e-mail address). It really brings home the fact that we are a "worldwide church". and helps us appreciate our brethren everywhere.

hervedubois
hervedubois on

Bonjour M. Meeker,
Nous prions pour que votre voyage se passe bien et que le bilan soit un formidable succès pour les frères et sœurs et pour vous. En dépit des tentatives de découragement de l'adversaire, manifestement très à l'œuvre dernièrement, nous gardons bon espoir que tout votre travail ne sera pas en vain, mais qu'il portera tous les fruits que vous en espèrez et certainement au delà. Nous vous souhaitons une excellente Fête des Tabernacles.

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