Saturday, May 28, 2011

24 Bags? Check!

Saturday morning came awfully early as I waited until late the night before to pack for Kenya. Trav dropped me at the airport, I was checked in and ready to go. Now, I will admit there are times when I really do have "blonde moments" and I chose this particular morning to let me hair color shine. I was at the airport 2 hours early and I missed my flight. How? Because I was sitting at the wrong gate! When it was time for my plane to leave I realized everyone who was boarding was going to Hawaii and I literally ran geographics through my head saying, " How can they stop in Atlanta on their way there?" Oh man. Thankfully, I caught a flight that left shortly after!

5 hours later I touched down in Atlanta. I'm sure people laughed as I ran to catch my hotel shuttle while dragging two 50lb suitcases and two carry on bags behind me! Arriving at the hotel to meet the team I saw a familiar redhead and heard a friendly voice; Scarlet, our team leader. Although I have not seen her in two years, that day it felt like it had only been a week. The rest of the team greeted me warmly, making me feel right at home. I am amazed at how on trips like this you have an instant bond with each other. You are all there for the same purpose and no matter what your background is or where you are from there is an incredible bond from the start. Here is a glimpse at our team. That way when you see pics or hear stories you will know who is who!

Joel: An ER physician from Albany, GA and Scarlet's husband. He has been going on medical mission trips for over 10 years. 
Scarlet: Pharmacist from Albany who takes on more than most people can handle yet always wears a smile! 
Pastor Earl: From a small Lutheran Church in Tifton, GA this was his first mission trip. 
Delana: A retired registered nurse from Albany, GA with a heart of service still. This would also be her first medical missions trip!
Katelyn: My roomie =) A pharm student at UGA and a heart of gold. She had been to Jamaica and Peru on mission trips but this would be her first where she would use her passion, knowledge, and skills to touch others.
Brenton: Pre-med at UGA and a desire to learn already. He as well had been on trips before and was anxious to shadow Joel, soaking up all he could.

A mixed group of people with one common goal: to be a light and show God's love to the people outside of Atemo

That night we went out to eat for our last supper. And did we ever eat. I haven't been so full in a long time. They sure know how to cook in the south. My mashed sweet potatoes and Oreo cheesecake was to die for! Plus, I was introduced to sweet tea. ( not without a little ridiculing that the California girl had never heard of it ;) The next morning we took our last shower for....what was it Katelyn, 3 days? Pastor Earl led a beautiful church service in the meeting room at the hotel and than we got to our packing party. Scarlet was given special permission for each of us to take three suitcases totalling 24 bags. All full of medicine and supplies for the clinics. Sorted, weighed, tagged, each one was carefully prepped for the trip. I am pretty sure we had to use all of the hotels baggage carts to get them to the shuttle.
Packing party!
One stuffed hotel room as we sorted and packed!

We had to take some non-medicine stuff to pass out ;) 

I think we had 6 of these things.
Before we knew it we were at the airport ( in the Delta lounge thanks to Scarlet and Joel!) ready to go! I was bursting with excitement inside. I knew I would never sleep so I popped a Tylenol PM, watched a tv show, and drifted into a fairly nice airplane sleep. 
With the kind KLM crew who helped ensure we could each take 3 bags


  1. I'm sorry Em, but when Heidi told me how you missed your flight, I was DYING!!! So funny although I'm sure it wasn't at the time.

  2. Emma, that is so cool that you got to go to Kenya! Maddie