Sunday, March 15, 2009

Coming...home. And HAPPY BIRTHDAY to ME!!!

Friday night I was SO sad. It had been building for the last few nights and I knew it was coming. I am glad I got most of it out then instead of this morning. OH! Saturday was my 25th BIRTHDAY! We woke up on Saturday and I was a little stressed because we were in quite a hurry to get everything done that we needed to do before we left. We all had to wake up at 6:30, pack up all of our stuff, clean our room completely, take our stuff up the hill, take a group picture and then have breakfast and go. It was chaotic, but I think everything got done. I managed to pack all of my stuff from the month in just two suitcases as opposed to having an extra carry-on like when I came down, but failed to realize (again) that it isn't about size as much as it is about weight. 

We got our room as clean as we could using the only thing they provided...a windex-type product...and we couldn't find a really, the room was still a mess...but it looked good for having been lived in for a month!

Some people volunteered to take my stuff up the hill (it is a BIG hill too) for me since it was my birthday! A couple of people handed me cards so I had a lot of things to open! Caren had given me a present yesterday, Ashley today, and a lot of cards. I was really blessed! Everyone said "happy birthday", yesterday and today, it was just a fun morning. 

I didn't take a shower. I looked a fright. We took the team picture (WITH only ONE camera thank you very much!) Then I tried to connect my computer to Aaron's so I could send him ALL [400] of the pictures I had taken of the month, but mostly of the building of the house...but it didn't work. I was really frustrated. 

The team sung to me at breakfast, we ate festival balls, which I liked better that the sticks, and fresh pineapple for the last time. Then it was time to leave. We all hugged and took pictures and cried a few tears and I got hugs and kisses from Malachi and Ezra. Malachi asked, "Are you leaving today?" and I said, "Yes, I am." "Oh. That's sad" he said, and I replied, "I know, it is really sad. I am going to miss you." and he replied, "Yeah...but don't forget to come to Canada." I told him I would get right on that and laughed and gave him one last hug. I didn't think it would be the last hug, but when I REALLY tried to give him the last hug he said no and that, "Remember I just gave you one." 

The ride to the airport was fine, we got dropped off and walked in to a HUGE, barely moving line and waited. I was actually one of the first people on our team to get up to the check-in. Then I placed my bags on the scale and lo-and-behold my first suitcase was over by 5.5 lbs. My oter bag was only 40 lbs. so I thought, oh, that'll be easy, switch 5 lbs. into that one...but they told me I couldn't do it right there, I had to move and do it and then rejoin the back of the line. I was thinking..."What...There is no way I will make it through THAT line again and make it to my flight on time...but I did what they said. I struggled to figure out what I could move that was at least 5.5 lbs. but up to 10...and it was so stressful because if I didn't move enough I would have to go through the entire process AGAIN! So I cut back in line with the group, and finally made it up to the counter again. LUCKILY my first bag was 43 or something and my other bag was 48. (I did put some cans and books in another girls bag.) 

The lady checking me in looked very hard at my passport and the date, the computer and my passport again...and looked at me and finally said, "Happy Birthday!" I was totally surprised and I think it showed on my face, but I thanked her and told her I was sad to be leaving beautiful Jamaica...and she went on about checking me in. She handed me my ticket and itenerary back. She wrote the gate number and boarding time on my boarding pass and lastly said, "And you are in seat 3D...that's first class." I didn't get it right away, but then I realized that she had bumped me up to a FIRST CLASS window seat...just because it was my birthday! I was so excited and had to tell everyone what God had given me for my birthday! I had never flown first class before... 

We found our gate easily and I joined a few of the leaders for one last meal together. Last time eating Jamaica ketchup for awhile...last time eating Jerk chicken for awhile...although I am looking forward to a reunion trip to Kelly's Jerk once we get back to Athens.

Our flight had already been delayed almost an hour, but I didn't think to let my mom know we would be late. We found out that the weather back home was dreary and cold and that made me SO much sadder. On the other hand, first class was great. I boarded first, had a lot of room, got served a was sweet! When I sat in my seat a flight attendant handed me a little bottle of water. When Christina boarded and walked passed me she asked if she could have it...I joked with her "of course you can have it...I can probably get another one with a snap of my fingers anyway!"

I actually slept most of the flight though. I could curl up pretty comfortably in my seat and lay my pillow against the window...and I didn't realize it until we had landed and heard the rest of my team grumbling, but we sat on the runway for 50 minutes before taking off and I had no idea. I was dead asleep already!

The airport went smoothly, it took awhile to get through and we were already so late that it felt like forever even though we had no issues. My mom picked me up, had a dozen roses for me and we collected my bags and left. At that point I was just exhausted. All I wanted to do was get a hot shower--the first one in one-day-shy-of- one month--and go to BED!

When I arrived home my kitchen was decorated for my birthday, I had another card and present to open and I found out that my roommate Carol is HOME. No more semester in Atlanta and only seeing her on weekends! And one last exciting thing for my birthday...Carol asked me to be in her wedding! SO fun! Happy Birthday to me and goodnight!!! I am home safely, have caught up on my sleep and have had a relaxing first day back!

1 comment:

  1. Yay! So glad you and your old self made it home, I want to see you soon! Only maybe we need to wait a few days so your tan can fade...otherwise I might be too depressed to be near you. Or maybe you can just wear a full out robe, face covering thing like women in the Middle East. That should take care of it.