Other Side of the World

Posted on August 6, 2012 by Dr. Jerry Rankin in Down Home in Mississippi

When we left for the mission field 42 years ago, we went by ship. It took us three weeks to get from America to Indonesia–time to leave the familiar behind and anticipate adjustments to a new culture. The jet age has radically diminished global distances so that in a matter of hours one can be on the other side of the world.

Our trip to Central Asia brought back memories of a lifestyle jetting from continent to continent, but this time the destination was grandkids in a foreign land. It was a joyous experience to get off the plane to be welcome by our burqa-clad daughter who had flown to the capital city to accompany us on the last stage of the journey to her family’s remote assignment.

It had been a three-day journey which began with a nostalgic experience of negotiating the concourses of the Atlanta airport, something we used to do multiple times a week. The 14-hour flight to Dubai, our interim stopover, was reminiscent of when this was a normal occurrence. Remembering the anti-jet lag procedures of fasting, caffeine withdrawal and adjusting sleep patterns, we found we could still handle the routine. Sleep a few hours, watch a couple of movies, read a book and prepare for landing in another culture.

We did not stay in the modernistic hotel in the background–the world’s only 7-star hotel–but arrived in Dubai to a dust storm sweeping down from Iraq and temperatures above 120 degrees. It did cool down to 99 at night so we did not do a lot of touring and sight-seeing. It is the Ramadan month of fasting in Muslim countries, so not much was going on. It was ideal for our intended purpose of resting, getting two good nights of sleep and adjusting our body clocks before jumping into time with three active grandchildren.

Several company personnel heard we were in town, so we had a great time of fellowship with acquaintances at the pictured guesthouse enroute to our ultimate destination. The small commuter flight early in the morning will bring us to three excited grandkids anxious to see what we have brought in our suitcases!

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