Isa picked me up a little before 9pm and dropped me off at the airport. She was still a little sore from our hiking excursion on Saturday. I was thankful for the ride and getting to see a member of the family one last time. We shall be in touch. She was giving me crap for taking a photo of her napping on the couch Sunday after toona'i. haha
My Field Director Veronica came by to say good-bye. She had called to see what time I would be at the airport. She said some really kind things to me about being a volunteer here. Saw a few of my students and co-workers who were picking up some people coming in from Hawaii. Saw a few friends from Zumba, and some of the church family. Got many hugs, and then Lilian and her mom Heidi were there. I am going to miss Lilian. She has been a great friend. She even waited until I actually walked down to security. I told her maybe coming down for her wedding will be my trip to American Samoa if not before then. "Even if it's within in the next year?," she asked. I replied, yes. I would love to come back for it :-)
Had a snorer that sounded much like a freight train right in front of me, too. Boy, I really must have been worn out. Usually that loud of snoring doesn't let me sleep. 5 hours later, we arrived in Honolulu. Pastor Jim, his son Tori, and I sent our luggage through customs. The shortest amount of time I have ever waited in customs. Nice, though. Outside we went, and within 10 minutes Richard and his girlfriend Brooke were there to pick us up. Brooke's parents actually live in Hawaii, so they were borrowing her dad's car. They took us to IHOP and treated us to breakfast.
We all had cups of coffee. I was also very excited about the glass of water. Free glass of water! No more only having the option of bottled water only at a restaurant.
I tried the whole wheat pancakes with fresh blueberries. Delicious!
Here's the breakfast group. Tori and Pastor Jim on the left. Richard, Brooke, and I on the right. Pastor Jim and Tori are on their way to the East coast. Tori will be starting college in Florida in the fall, and Pastor Jim is spending some time at home and visiting some churches back that way until about January before heading back to Savai'i, Samoa.
Then, Richard and Brooke to us to their church there. The church helps support Pastor Jim as a missionary in Savai'i. Got a little tour and just hung out for a bit. Then, we headed to Jamba Juice (sorta per my request) and to meet up with another friend of theirs that wanted to see Pastor Jim - Tupu. He treated us to the delicious smoothies. Some of my teacher friends had talked about Jamba Juice, which I had never had until Tuesday in Honolulu. I tried a guava, pineapple, strawberry, and peach smoothie. Yummy. I do enjoy guava.
Then, they dropped us back off at the airport. Had a few hours of downtime, and Pastor Jim and I got talking about various things. A nice open dialogue. One point of discussion was the idea of stewardship - environmental stewardship. Something I find interest in, and he said he could see a nice thesis developing from that. He ran with the idea. It was cool to finally sit down and chat with him some more. Been a while since I've just had a nice theological discussion.
After some chatting, those two headed to their gate. I found myself taking note of all the fashion I was seeing around me. Been a while since I've seen more than skirts, ie's, basketball shorts, and flip-flops. I almost forgot how short some girls' shorts really are. Dang! haha Time for a little reverse culture shock. haha no shock, just different :-) There were also some pigeons hopping around in the terminal, and I noted some people being horrified by that. Haha. Made me think of all the ants, huge cockroaches, spiders, centipedes, etc. I've been sharing housing with the past year. You people make me laugh. :-)
A 5.5 hour flight from Honolulu to Phoenix, where I slept on and off again. They also served a pretty decent dinner. They also offered up complimentary cups of wine. That's something I've never seen before. I stuck to my hot tea, water, and juice, though.
Rolled into Phoenix, AZ a little before midnight Mountain Time. Realized after a while I needed to switch terminals and was having problems checking my flight online. Realized I was using the wrong confirmation code. Thanks, Mom for helping with that one. I wasn't freaking out, but at this point I am definitely looking forward to be home within the next 8 hours. Not stuck in Phoenix or Denver. I may be sprinting between planes in Denver, but I should be arriving in Omaha before 12:30pm Central Time!
This thing with not having a regular sleep schedule makes me hungry at funky times. My eyes looked dark when we were in Honolulu. I have some energy now as I type this message at 3am Phoenix Time, and I'm pretty sure when I arrive I will find a new spout of energy. A 2 hour flight to Denver leaving here at 6:10am, a quick plane change, and the n1 hour and 30 minutes to Omaha. I am looking forward to having some people help me with the little luggage that I have. haha
Free wi-fi in Phoenix, hence the update on my blog now. I also checked my e-mails to find a photo Hannah had sent me of some of my boys that asked about me. Apparently they forgot that I was leaving early despite how many times I told them. Caught one on instant messenger and he went on and on how much he's going to miss me, being a great teacher, and how he didn't realize I was leaving already. I told him if I can save up some money I will try to come visit him and Tavini and whoever else goes to school in Hawaii. I said I'm always here to help, and I'm going to miss them too. He also commented on our awesome field trips again, too. I suggested he should go back and say hi to my ranger friends. Left to right: Tavini, Filipo, and Isaiah.
I was selected for another random screening while going through security in Phoenix. This time just meant he was going to test my hands. Apparently something showed up, so then I had to go through another pat down and have all my bags searched. Lucky me. hahaha Cleared, though :-)
Have my final two boarding passes, which will take me all the way to Omaha with a stop in Denver. My hair may be looking a little flat and my eyes a little dark, but I'm a coming.
Feel like I'm missing something in this post, but that's where I'm going to leave it for now. I know this blog is titled "Boschen in American Samoa", but I think it's appropriate to talk a bit about the transition home, too. I may work on a few more posts this week. Have a great day, everyone!