The call-to-prayer from a mosque somewhere in the distance has been audible for about the last hour; the roosters have just started crowing; it must be time to get up.  I am writing this from the SIM guesthouse (a very nice facility that maybe could accommodate 15-20 people in a pinch) in Addis Ababa across town from the international airport.  It is Sunday morning here and the house is otherwise quiet.  The rest of the team is sleeping; I am not at all tired.

We met at SFO on Friday morning, assembling at 11 AM -- lots of energy & excitement at the airport!  We had as usual for these trips our mountain of luggage: typically 4 items per team member, including 2 large duffels apiece: a total of about 50 pieces including carry-ons.  We managed to get it all checked in through to Addis.  While we were waiting in San Francisco, my son Tim “texted” me from Lilongwe, Malawi.  He had just met Kevin Friesen, a fellow SFC member, at the airport there.  Kevin is exploring options in Malawi for his NextStep non-profit start-up.  By 2:30 PM we were in the air, bound for Frankfurt.

The first leg of our trip was about 9 hours in the air.  Some of us slept, some of us read.  One person got a little airsick, but is fine now.  We arrived at Frankfurt airport about 8:30 AM local time taking a shuttle into the terminal from the tarmac.  There was only about a 90 minute layover; by 10:30 we were in the air again, flying to Khartoum, Sudan.

This leg was about a 5 hour flight.  Another person got airsick, but also is fine now.  The plane touched down for refueling; an hour later we were on our way to Addis.  It was dark when we landed, at about 8 PM local time.

We were met at the airport by the leader of another from MPPC: Todd Johnson.  Great to see a friendly face beckoning to us after we had made it through customs!  I was the first through customs, un-accosted.  Michael got stopped and ½ our team got hung up waiting for official permission to bring all our medicines into the country.  Zeneba from HOPE Enterprises also met us and engaged the customs official. 

Finally Marta from Project Mercy arrived to greet us, and also spoke to the customs man.  Marta brought Paulos with her – a key person at Project Mercy who will serve as our driver & protector for the remainder of the trip – he did this for us last time so we know we are in good (human) hands.   After an hour or so we were out of the airport and on our way to the guesthouse.  We were all in bed by midnight.

We lost ½ a day in travel; maybe that’s why I’m not especially tired.  I don’t seem to miss it.  We are all aware that we are out of our comfort-zones & resting in God’s hands now … among friends, family & God’s people at the ends-of-the-earth.