Saturday, January 12, 2008

Hola from Basque County - The Foolish Man in Terminal Four

Day Two in Spain. . . recap from travel

I'm so thankful to God for the fantastic night's sleep. The first night was a tad rough. I think it tends to be with the bodily confusion that comes with jet lag. I can't complain though. It's so good to be here.

My flight out of Phoenix went fairly well, except for the immature 30 something who decided to stay up all night long (night before flight) and drink his night away and then proceed to dump his guts on the plane, just prior to our take off.

Our plane was in line, on the run way getting ready to take off for Houston, when all of a sudden, our pilot squealed (literally) to a halt, made a 180 ( I thought for sure we were this guys first gig) and announced that we were headed back to the tar max (or whatever you call it) as we had a medical emergency. We did? Heads began peering out of isles scanning up and down - sure didn't see any commotion that would indicate a "medical emergency."

I've been on flights before where we had "medical emergencies" and I know what the hub-bub of that looks like." Didn't see any of this.

I was a bit bummed - not because of saving some one's life who had a medical emergency, but because I already had a limited amount of time to get to my departure gate in Houston. Houston's a big airport and I wasn't really clear how where to go or how to get there.

We arrived back at the gate (in Phoenix) and the pilot announces that the medical emergency team is waiting for the poor person having the emergency. From about four rows behind me, walks this young fellow, disheveled to say the least with a cold pack on his neck, up to the front of the plane.

This is the medical emergency? A guy who drank his night away and was asked twice by the stewardess if he shouldn't take another flight after his hangover wasn't hanging over?

This was an emergency to hold up a flight full of people, causing the whole Terminal Four of the Phoenix airport to come to a halt, people's connecting flights possibly being in jeopardy and our plane needing to refuel (how much DID THAT cost U.S. Airlines?)and then run through the required airline check list again?

All I could think about is how one person's choices (foolish or wise)effects so many people. This young, foolish drunk had no clue that his night escapdes of "fun" would effect Terminal Four at Sky Harbour Airport.

I did make my connecting flight in Houston and I trust others made theirs. It wasn't without an added burden of rushing and stressing.

I wander how many people who live for themselves really think about the effects on others - people they don't even know, let alone people they do know.

My flight from Houston to Frankfurt was OK. I had the priveliege of sitting next to Anton, a young man from Louisianna who was headed to Iraq. He works for some company that does logistics for the Army in Iraq. I enjoyed hearing his stories about what God is doing among the children that come to this camp to learn English.

Arriving in Frankfurt is always a bit of a stressor for me. As organized as they are, it seems as if they continually change the gates of departing flights. Even though I know enough German, just hearing the language takes some time to acclimate to it. I also had a minimal amount of time to get to my next Lufthansa flight to Bilboa, Spain. I made it though with time to spare.

Flying to Spain is always exciting. It means I'm getting close to see faces I love. The flight is almost two hours. My only trouble here was landing. It was a tough, rough attempt to land - tons of wind. It reminded me Space Mountain at Disneyland and I don't do Space Mountain. We were almost on the ground and the pilot decided to take off again. In German, then Spanish and then English he explained that there was too much wind to safely land.

OK, stomach is upside down. Head is spinning. Focus, Lylah, Focus. Round two. Round two was successful in getting the plane on the ground in one piece. I'll take it. Thanks God.

I decided for practical purposes to be the last one off the plane. Perhaps because I needed to give my innards time to see if they were going to untwist themselves. Well . .

I made it, retrieved my baggage and on the way out the nice fellows in the green uniforms with the guns that speak Spanish decide that I look suspect enough to have me pick up my suitcases so they can go through all of them.

Oh . . .Being already over the edge, this just pushed me all the way. Not only did I have limited strength to pick up the 51 + pounders, emotional energy to deal with this was nix. Nausea took over and I decided the best way to handle this was to just lay my head on my suitcase. The guys in the green uniforms with the guns started asking me something of which I had no clue what they were asking, except I did hear the word'medic.' All I could do was shake my head - no I didn't need a medic, but I did need - well, I don't know what I needed, but it wasn't this.

Fortunately, Jenni had seen me from above and knew that her Mom wasn't doing good. She was retrieved by one of the guys in the green uniform with the gun who spoke only Spanish.

I made it outside. It's amazing how fresh air does someone with a twisted stomach some good. So does seeing a three year old who runs to hug her Nana.

Life is good. God is good.

Arriving in San Sebastian felt good. Arriving in Gerald and Jenni's appartment was even better.

Stumble Upon Toolbar


The Emery's said...

Wow, what a hard travel. I'm so glad you are there now, rested, and loving on your daughter, son, & grandkids! Treasure every second! Praying for you!