Wednesday, January 20, 2010

My Cyprus journey

Travel time: approximately 25 hours

I don’t know if you really know yourself if you haven’t done 2 days of traveling, alone in foreign countries. It’s a revelatory experience full of challenges and hours of silence. Something I horribly dread.

Mrs. Rudolph gave me a word in 2008 that God was calling me to a season of being alone. Appreciating time between just Him and me and that she didn’t know how long that time would last but she set me up for what’s been exactly that: lots of alone time.

I have learned this year to appreciate the quiet times alone. For anyone that knows me, I’ve come along way and I don’t think I’ve ever said the words “I need alone time.” Perhaps I’ve learned to like myself enough to enjoy me for a bit. I definitely would be frightened and think I was depressed if I didn’t know this season was ordained by God.

First, I had a room to myself for the first time in Cyprus in 2009. Being an RA and living with students I appreciated my space. Then I came home and my sister got married and again I had my own room and found myself spending a lot of time in it...just me and the Big Man upstairs. The third greatest challenge of flying solo happened less than 24 hours when I traveled overseas alone. I have flown alone and dreaded it! But I just found myself flowing through all the transfers, including trains and shuttles without much hesitation.

Getting on the plane in the first place was a confusing experience. Everyone in my family, the friends that surround me and people at church continued to question my motives and kept bringing doubt in my mind about returning to the island. Again, I knew I had a word from the Lord and pressed onward. I cried often and kept asking God if He had changed His mind. As I sat at my gate in DFW, I admitted to someone I just needed one person to tell me I was doing the right thing and needed to get on that plane. If my friend hadn’t assured me I heard from the Lord and was doing the right thing I may have walked out of that terminal.

The gentlemen that sat next to me before I got up and found an empty row was from Ethiopia. He works in Dallas but was going home to visit family. Man have I had a connection with Ethiopians this fall! He was a little too friendly for me so I couldn’t wait to get up in the air. I love KLM but their planes are always empty which is always a plus for me because I get a row to myself and can sleep better. But I cross my fingers that the airlines will get more popular and continue their direct flights from DFW to Amsterdam.

My layover in Amsterdam was a fun, quick visit with Shawna and Ari. I met Naos and re-met Shea Shea who was cuter than ever. Unfortunately my camera ran out of batteries and I didn’t get much of my half day trip in the city. Naos took us to a Dutch bar where we had traditional food and I played with the hired mouse catcher (a kitty cat) inside the pub. It was too short but an enjoyable stop on my way to Cyprus.

At the train station I met a Cyporiote traveling from DC back to his home. It was so random that he started talking to me at the train and then happened to be a citizen of the island. I saw him again at our gate and he talked my ear off. He had spent his layover seeing the city and was interested in my visit to his beautiful country. I don’t remember his name. He had a Jersey accent.

I slept most of the plane ride from Amsterdam to Cyprus. I was so tired from traveling and felt all funny. I sat by a British woman who had lived in Ios Mamas for some years but didn’t know anyone I knew. She was sweet and looked after me while I slept by throwing my trash away and putting up my tray when I was sleeping. We first landed in Paphos and then traveled to Larnaca. I hate doing that, messing my ears all up for a 20 minute flight!

Once in Cyprus I easily went through passport control and collected my bags. The carts are like at Orphanides now, you put 2 euros in but you get it back once you’ve returned the cart. Unfortunately I didn’t have a 2 euro coin so I had to get change for my 5 euro bill. I was taking a shuttle from the airport to Limassol so I spoke with the desk titled “shuttle” and he informed me I had to go talk to the bus driver outside and buy a ticket from him. It was a little intimidating going out into the dark, cold parking lot and telling some guy I needed a ride. He loaded my bags and I used my new phone thanks to Katho to call Joel to let him know I was going to be dropped off at Saint John’s church.

I guess I jumped on the 830 bus instead of the one at 915 so I had some more alone time while I waited for Sandra. Cyprus is a funny little island and pretty safe so I wasn’t worried. My phone had died so I waited patiently. I went to take my backpack off and apparently hadn’t zipped it back up after getting Joel’s number (I was practically in zombie state) and ended up throwing my computer down on the sidewalk about 3 feet. My CD/DvD player is broken which is most unfortunate before 6 months without a TV. My computer is my only source of entertainment! I’m praying I can find a Dell shop that can fix my player for free. =) Just kidding…but please do pray that it can get fixed for a fairly inexpensive amount!

I was greeted by Hannah, Marissa and Julia and spent some time sharing my funny traveling experiences with them. I’m staying in my old room at the moment and even though houses haven’t been permanently assigned I’m hoping I get this house again. Suzanna and I had some good times in this room and it’s the most peaceful room I’ve slept in all my years here. The new base isn’t as close as it was before but a brisk walk in the morning can do you some good!

I slept well last night and got up around noon to a short visit with Cas and Serah. The girls came home from working on the new base and we had lunch together. I get the day off for recuperating and then tomorrow I’ll start working with them. I can’t wait to see my new office!

Well I’ve written a novel and have few pictures to liven it up so I will go. I don’t know how often I’ll blog so I won’t make any promises. I hope its something I find time for while I’m here. It's never been easy in the past!


  1. It was great to see you and I'm so glad you're here!

  2. I just wanted to let you know that I'll be praying for you!!! I have also enjoyed hearing about your travels!! :)