Saturday, August 2, 2014

I made it!

First of all, a HUGE thank you to everyone who has prayed for me this summer, and especially as I traveled!  It was surprising to me how much peace I had, particularly before leaving.  I tried to explain this peace to a friend and she said, "Hannah, that's the Peace that surpasses all understanding!  Of course, you're not going to be able to explain it!"  All I can do is smile at God's goodness and faithfulness.  So THANK YOU for your prayers.  God is faithful to answer them!

My flight from Pittsburgh to Paris was delayed about an hour and a half.  We (my parents and I) didn't know this until we got to the airport.  With the delay, I had about an hour in Paris to catch my connecting flight.  And if I didn't make that flight, I'd be put up in Paris (not too shabby) until Saturday when the next flight to Niamey was.  So all we could do was pray that I would make my flight and arrive to Niamey Friday afternoon, as originally planned.  In the meantime, and since my parents were with me, we enjoyed the delay by having one last dinner together in the airport!  Like I said before, there was an exciting calmness I felt as we dined.

Mandatory selfie with the parents :)
And since my parents are so great, they watched me snake the whole way through security!  I got stopped at the end because of my carry-on.  Honestly, I couldn't even remember what I had packed in it.  (Between that and the three suitcases all weighing 51 lbs. exactly, it was going to be a scavenger hunt unpacking).  So the kind gentlemen dug through my very tightly packed bag, unpacking everything to see what had alarmed them.  It was a battery powered flashlight.  Oh well.

As I sat at my gate (and stood, for I knew I'd be sitting a long time in the next 16 hours), I heard my name called to the front desk.  The man asked me if I liked middle seats.  I replied "No, I actually hate them."  He continued to inform me that he switched me to a window seat (my favorite!).  I really couldn't believe it for some reason, because I hadn't really shared that with too many people, but God knew!  AND! the night before, I had missed watching the sunset.  (If you know me at all, sunset watching is a big deal).  But guess what?!  God knew that, too!  Because of the delay and because of my new window seat, I was able to watch the sunset over the Pittsburgh horizon one last time!  Even as we flew, the sky line burst with colors of oranges, yellows and reds.  I was ecstatic.  God knows even the little desires of our hearts.

The view of the fading sunset from my window seat!
Needless to say, I made my connecting flight in Paris (not without having to dump the water from my water bottle in the plants at security!).  I knew I had reached the right gate when I saw colorful garbs and headdresses.  The elementary principal of Sahel Academy was on this flight.  When we reached Niamey, she and I went through customs together, which was very nice to have a friend!  Customs were very smooth.  I picked up my baggage from the airport's single luggage belt, had it scanned and was on my way!

I was picked up from the airport, and graciously dropped off at my new home, welcomed by my new roommates!  Before I had a chance to do much else, we all went to dinner (with the single ladies staying on Sahel's campus).  We shared a delicious meal and laughed as we chatted.  It was an excellent welcome to Niger.

My roommates welcoming me on the first day!



  1. So glad all went smoothly! You're in the right place! My heart is with you.
    Love, Mom

  2. I pray this peace stays with you the entire time you are in Niger. I pray this for your mom, too!