Abby: It began in the last hour of our overseas flight from Washington to Frankfurt. I awoke from an uncomfortable attempt at sleep to Chase telling me that he picked up my gluten-free food for me and had got me coffee. Although the gesture was very sweet, the sight of it prompted me to immediately go to the bathroom. After about 5 minutes of fighting an upset stomach I returned to my seat. Chase was a darling. He went to the back of the plane to try and get me a cup of ice, but when it was unsuccessful he returned letting me know that he would help if he could. With roughly 10 minutes left in the flight, I told him I needed a Bag. With the swiftness of a fox he secured one from Whitney and I took care of business. Absolutely mortified, I started crying but Chase rubbed my back a little bit and encouraged me to not feel bad about it. Once we were in Frankfurt I was eager to wash off and feel better, but we had to go through security twice. As if my rebellious stomach wasn’t enough for my embarrassment, the second time through security I set off the detector. What, you may be wondering, set it off? Nothing other than the wire in my bra. So I was left to being frisked and poked by a German woman, humiliation continuing to overcome me. By this time, I was crying and I still didn’t feel well at all. We took a bus to our flight to Sofia and as soon as we were off the bus, I got sick again, but I boarded the plane feeling like it was all out of my system (or at least hoping). After arriving in Bulgaria and being able to really talk to my whole team, we realized that my case was the manifestation of the stomach battles inside us all. But for me, I knew this sickness was from God. As weird as it sounds, I prayed that God would humble me and help me to rely on my group, and rely on my group I did. Happy to take one for the team, we headed for Customs. Although we were warned that we should declare our business as “tourists” we weren’t even asked. We all got our luggage (praise God!) and we met up with Marty and DiDi, the couple helping us out for a few days and headed for the Pentecostal School where we are staying. Marty led us to two taxis, as well as his car. I hopped in a taxi with Whitney and Allison and rapidly learned that Sofia taxi drivers are NUTS. Though I’ve never been to New York, I imagine it’s much the same. Road signs? Suggestions. Lines on the road? Guidelines. Lanes? Laughable attempts at control. Through all the insanity of the driving, I looked out the window to see a fascinating sight around me. The mountains make you feel like you’re still in Colorado, but the streets are like nowhere I’ve ever seen. People living in dilapidated apartments, stray dogs roaming the roads, piles of wood that were once buildings. It’s like the collapse of Communism brought about the collapse of architecture as well. I could tell that Sofia was a rough place to live. We are going to tour the city tomorrow and we’ve been warned by Ed to be particularly on our guard about stealing. Theft is common in Bulgaria and beggars are good at it. So, if you would like to pray, feel free to begin with our health from our trip and for the safety of our money and possessions.
And I suppose that’s all.
Moral of the story? We are here. We are safe. We are tired. We are happy.