Sunday, January 3, 2010

London England

Greetings from London-
We arrived safe and sound in London. Other than the luggage setback in Chicago we were doing well as a team. We all slept (some more than others) while on the plane. We knew we were arriving early morning London time. We had a 12 hour layover which we knew we had to be adventurous and walk fast in order to see all the amazing sites. Jim has no problem walking fast but Paul, Stacy, and myself needed some mental preparation. When we landed Stacy and I were smart and checked our carry-on bags into a luggage holder at the airport. This was the best $24 spent all day. When we finally found the correct terminal to exit the city we were very surprised to feel the freezing air, rain, and wind. We were not mentally prepared for this either. The guys had their luggage and no umbrellas, just simply their coats while Stacy and I had no luggage and umbrellas. Now you tell me who planned ahead :)
We hit the London ground running, or at least at Jim's pace!! After exchanging money and buying a ticket to get around London there were certain stops we wanted to see. The first one was the Buckingham Palace. We were very excited to see the Changing of the Guards. We hurried to make the scheduled time, only to realize they were not doing it on the day we were there. They do this on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. We were there on Tuesday!!! This was a huge blow to our site seeing wishes. So instead we entered the Buckingham Palace Gift Shop. Too funny, yet close enough!
Next Stop Big Ben-Per Paul this was on his to-do list. We walked right past it and took pictures. Right across the street was a wonderful Irish Man playing his bagpipes. Paul was gracious enough to take a picture with me and the man.
We then saw the the London Eye. Since it was foggy we didn't pay to take the Eye. It was huge and nice to see through the foggy sky.
Again on Paul's to-do Fish and Chips. Paul was a man on a mission to have us/introduce us to so much in London. He had done some research and knew what the sites were. We walked in the rain in order to find a nice London Pub which served real Fish and Chips. While inside we were greeted by a grandfather wearing a suit and bow-tie with his very well behaved grandson. They were telling us stories about life and the city. This moment in time could not be explained but just know that it was very refreshing to see a loving bond between these two gentlemen. The child, a 9 year old, knew the public train system forwards and backwards. His g-pa had taken him downtown once a week every week since he was a toddler. The boy told us how to get back to the airport since we had no idea where we actually were! We walked so much in the rain in every direction we didn't know what to do. Thank God for this 9 year old child.
We made our way back to the airport and we were ready to go to Nairobi. Jim, Stacy, and I had our bags searched. Paul lucked out on this one because his wife was a phenomenal packer and everything fit into a tiny carry-on sized back pack. Stacy and I had bags which were a little to large for Kenya Air. I was telling them my bag was filled with Medical supplies, and after searching they let me through along with Stacy. Jim had his bag ransacked by a woman working the machines who didn't want him to get everything into Nairobi (we just assume she was having a bad day...she was taking random items from other people in line).
When we hit the gate at London for our Nairobi flight they took our over sized bags after all and told us to pick them up in Nairobi. At this time the lovely attendant in London told us our bags were not scheduled to be on the flight with us. They were stopped in London. Our flight left late, I only assume it was because many of the peoples bags were not on the flight. Our tags said they were to go to Nairobi, but that was not the case until they realized the flagged alert on the computer.
After a 12 hour layover we were safe and sound and on the plane to our final destination: The Mitumba Slum of Nairobi Kenya!
Keep the Faith,
Dr. April Marz

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  1. Glad you were able to see some of the sights in London. It made me smile to think of Paul's to-do list of sights to see, as I know where he acquired that habit. :-)
    Prayers for all of you!
    Mary (Paul's Mom)

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  2. hi april and team!! I'm reading your blogs and praying for you...stay strong, keep your eyes lookng ahead! love, katie (april's sister)

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