First the drama:
Even though we were awake on time (4am) and arrived at the airport on time, we missed our flight on Thursday - the airport was packed in the morning (as usual) and even though we got there in plenty of time, we happened to get in the TSA line with a trainee where every single bag that went through was looked at and discussed. Because it was so crowded, it wouldn't have been worth it to move to another line.
Then, John had to have one of his bags opened, searched and put through the xray again. We ran to our gate and I think they had just closed it - and they were unwilling to open it for us and the other guy who was also late.
Mimi drove back to the airport to pick us up - and after a short nap, I spent the next 2 1/2 hours trying to book our flight for the next day...United told us that South African Airways (SAA) had to rebook, SAA said it was United who had to do it - so it was back and forth between the 2 airways to figure out who was going to book us...finally it was set.
There were no problems getting out of Seattle (since they had given us boarding pass the day before), but when we arrived in Dulles, there were several issues: 1) John was told that South Africa (the country) requires at least 4-5 empty pages in his passport (and he had none)... thankfully, when we made the argument that we were in transit and not staying in SA, they relented.
Then they held our 3 extra bags hostage and wanted us to pay for extra luggage (we had 3 bags above the 8 bag allotment) - and had to haggle with them about that...finally they let it go, but when we landed in Lusaka, we were missing 2 bags (which we got 2 days later).
We arrived home to dead batteries in both our cars - mine still needs to be jumped and I'm afraid I need a new battery. The kids start school tomorrow (Tuesday) and are trying to get over jet lag, so it'll be a tough first week for them. John and I are back to work on Monday and starting to settle in.
The weather is beautiful here - blue skies, it feels like fall but it warms up in the afternoon.
It feels good to be back in Zambia...the Peter yelled "we're home!" when we landed in Lusaka and they are settling in nicely!
It has been been great to be back - and it does feel like home. We have a lot of goals and things we want to accomplish during our remaining time here - so pray for us!