Saturday, May 5, 2007

Starting off on the left foot...

Talofa Lava!
I have arrived! Though my luggage did not. The plane rides were not that bad. I was lucky on the first two planes no one was sitting beside me so I could somewhat lay down. The first plane a lady named Linda and her husband David adopted me and talked me though what to do. That was nice and comforting. The stuward on that plane let me move because he said it gets very cold where I was supposed to sit. He was a lot of fun.In Dallas, I was blessed because it is huge and I thought I might have to ride the skyline to another section and what not with only forty minutes to spare, but all I ended up having to do was got a few gates over. There were restaurants of all sorts, but I didn't want to waste my money, so I got a packaged chicken salad, taquito, and a drink at a little store. I was happy. Something wonderful happened in Dallas. I was waiting to board my plane and I hear hollering and clapping and I look up and above in the sort of breezeway were troops. I suppose they were coming back, that would make sense. They must have been coming off that plane for twenty minutes. Hundreds of them, and not once did the clapping and holleringfor them cease. It made me tear up. Dallas to San Diego, no one to adopt me but there was an extra seat to lay down in! San Diego as soon as I got off I had to get right back on.From there to Honolulu I sat next to a man named Jessie. He was a very nice man. He adopted me this trip. Told me what to expect on this flight. This time I actually got some food and got to watch a movie. He told me all about Hawaii. He is in real estate in Hawaii, Las Vegas, California, and I'm sure some other places. I asked him if they lay us when we get off the plane. He laughed and said, "They really only do that for a big group of tourists." I shyly said, "Man..., I'm a tourist." When I arrived at Honolulu, I had three hours to spare which really turned into five. I miscalculated. Charles didn't teach me math very well. Dang smart people. Anywho, Jessie wanted to show me the shops in the airport where I could buy some things. When we passed a kiosk that had some lays, he told me to pick one out and he bought one for me. I don't know what type of flowers it was, but it smelled so wonderful. It is in the fridge right now. I don't know what to do with it. I don't want to throw it away. It's my first real lay. I know, I'm weird. Jessie left and I took to Philip's advice, reluctantly. I ate at Burger King. It was really good actually. About this time, I had time to spare and my phone was still on, so I called a few people at home. Had about as long of a conversation with them as I could to pass the time, but they still didn't last long enough.I ended up going to where my gate was with 3 hours to board. So I made friends with one lady from the Island who is coming back to bring her mother who was diagnosed with cancer. I, being the Relay for Life...American Cancer Society person (and also just happening to be wearing the Relay for Life t-shirt), talked to the woman about it and her mother has stopped treatment because it hurt her and she just wants to go home. It was nice talking to her. I will probably be eating with her one night on the island. On that plane to Pago Pago, this little girl, about 6 years old, sat next to me with her mother. She kept messing with me. Which, I, of course, messed back. We would make faces at each other, she would lay on me, and talk to me a lot. Since I was going backwards in time and my day was elongated, I think I had 5 or so meals that day, so when the stuwardess came to offer me the dinner, I passed and just had a little ( I mean little! ) salad. Well, Mena (the little girl...) didn't want her dinner, so her mother offered it to me. I was surprised that I was actually a litle bit more hungry. Her mother said, "Go ahead, He won't eat it." I asked, "Who?" and she said "Him. He won't eat that, take it." HA. I felt so bad. I guess the little boy having long hair made me assume. Well, I didn't make that mistake again.I got to the airport and when you get off the plane here, you go out the plane and down steps and onto the runway and into the building. As I was walking towards the building I looked around in the night and I could barely see the mountains. But I could see them. If only a camera could have captured that moment. Then you would now how I felt. I get inside the Hut and to through custums to look for my bags. After everyone leaving with their bags, I realize that mine might be lost. So I tell someone and an hour and a half after I get off the plane I go ahead and leave baggage claim.I am greeted by some of the kids from Tafuna Church of Christ. Ally is wearing a beautiful red dress and gives me a lay. Colt gives me a lay as well as a girl from the church. I hug Jaime and Philip introduces me to about ten people, whose names I have already lost. Sorry Philip. I filed a claim with the airline and hopefully, my luggage should come in on Thursday. Hawaiian Airlines have given me $30 a day until Thursday to spend on toiletries and clothes. So basically, a free $90 shopping spree. I have God to thank for that.The next morning I wake up and one of my Sperry's is gone from the shoe rack outside. Now this is okay, because they are just shoes and I wore them to work so they were not in the best shape anyway. I guess the fact that Kristin gave them to me for my birthdya made me feel bad. Sorry Kristin! So the stray dog that took it has also taken other shoes. This time I thought it was ironic because t was my right shoe the dog took. And with the luggage and the shoes, I'd say that I'm definately not starting out on the right foot. Left foot is about right.I seemed to have woken up before everyone that morning also. It was about 2 in the afternoon to me. 6 a.m. here and I am up in just enough time to watch the sunrise. I went off the back porch and saw someting hop real quick toward the house. I jumped back because it startled me. barely being able to see, I thought it was a bunny. Ha! I wish. It was probably the biggest toad I have ever seen! I took a picture of it, but I don't think the picture did it justice. I went to school with Julia, Paul, Ally, and Colt yesterday and wandered from classroom to classroom. Nothing else for me to do.Later that day we went shopping and last night I went to a Tahitian dance class. I didn't do so well. It was a great work out! Right now, I am sitting on the back porch, watching the mountains go into the ocean. There are coconut trees everywhere. This is only something I could dream of seeing, until now. Flying on a plane helped me to realize that the world isn't that big and I can see it all. That is my goal. To travel the world and spread the Good News.

Tofa Soifua,
Aunt Whitney

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