Wednesday, July 30, 2008

ASP in West Virginia

I am slowly recovering from my week with the youth of Ridge Church on our mission trip to Hinton WV with the Appalachian Service Project. I have not gone on a youth mission trip in a number of years, I think my last one was to Oklahoma. That trip I flew in late and flew out before it was over and just came a paid a visit with the youth for a couple of days. This time I was the team leader even though I flew to join the team on Sunday while they drove on Saturday.

The youth left on Saturday morning and drove to Charleston WV to spend the night at Christ UMC. They went to church the next morning and then drove on to Hinton. The big excitement was the realization that some famous actress was a part of the congregation (as far as I know she wasn't there that morning) and her sister was there. I have no idea who it was (they told me but, as they liked to remind me, I am OLD!

I left Munster right after Church on Sunday, I changed my clothes in my office and Nancy drove me to O'Hare. I thought I was on one airline but it ended up being United because it was a code share although my ticket was not very clear. Once I figured out where I was to be, I settled in for my 3pm flight to Washington DC (Reagan Airport) and then a short hop to Charleston WV. We boarded shortly before 3, only to find that their was a mechanical problem. While fixing that issue, another mechanical problem came up, that was fixed, we taxied out of the gate only to sit because of weather in Washington. We finally took off sometime after 6pm.

By the time we arrived my flight to WV had long since departed. Since it was mechanical issues, United arranged for a taxi to Dulles Airport (on the other side of town) for a flight that left in about an hour. I had to run through the airport, but I made it to the flight, only to find it delayed because of weather in Charleston. I finally arrived in Charleston after midnight, still needing to rent a van and then drive the 1 1/2 hour or so to Hinton. Fortunately my van that I had booked was waiting for me.

I arrived in Hinton sometime between 2am and 2:30, Monday morning -- 13 hours after I left Munster. By the way, the drive time to Hinton from Munster is only 10 hours!

I arrived and eventually find the school where we were staying. After an unbelievable adventure with only the light of a cell phone, I found my cot on the boys side of the gym (fortunately I did not wake any of the girls up when I was looking for my bed on their side of the gym . . .). Unfortunately, while they had set up my cot, they had not gotten my suitcase or my sleeping back out of the trailer. It was close to 100 degrees in the gym at 3am and I slept miserably until 5:30 am.

Enough for now, I will continue this adventure later!

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