Supplement USA

How exciting for Lilliane and I. We are off on a journey - mine to be with family and friends and to attend two of my grandchildren's weddings. I am looking forward to meeting those who have been such a great support and encouragement in mission for me.
Lilliane's journey will give her the experience of a whole new world. It is interesting to share first times with a 14 year old. I watch and wonder what is going on in her mind.

Lilliane and I were blessed by Meredith, Louise, Emmy, Etienne and Oswald who came to the airport to see us off.
mama and oswaldMama and EtienneLouise and MamaLouise and MeredithAirportI really thought we had passed all the hurdles just getting Lilliane's passport and her US Visa. Not so. All went well until we reached Immigration. There the next challenge took place. This time John was not there to intercede for us as he had when Divine and I faced this ordeal. Immigration did not want me to take her out of the country.
This was confusing to me as the same department had given her a passport and the US Embassy gave her a visa. They had asked all the same questions and had documents needed and were satisfied that I was not planning harm to Lilliane. After many nervous minutes for our escorts to the airport, and about 6 phone calls, the man in charge handed Lilliane her passport and said we could go. With tears of gratitude I startled the big man by kissing him on the cheek. He grinned, said it was OK and instructed the man at the window to stamp her passport. The first stamp in her book.

We looked down into the airport lobby at anxious faces and gave a sign that all was OK and we were on our way. Relief showed on their dear faces as they waved a goodbye.

I did not take a good breath until we were on the plane and in the air.

Lilliane was an excellent traveling companion. She was amazed to see the clouds under us and even more so when the clouds proved to be bumpy. Turbulence, said the pilot. The food was not bad. She slept a lot and that was good.

We met interesting people on the flight. There were 24 babies and small children from Ethiopia going to the US with their new families . There was a bit of crying as new parents tried to soothe the children. Airplanes are scary.

Going through customs in Washington was smooth. But imagine my surprise when, after brushing our teeth and washing our faces, we encountered another temporary set back when boarding the plane for Pittsburgh. We had changed nothing in our back packs but the TSA agent pulled Lilliane's back pack because of suspicious content. They confiscated her toothpaste and vaseline. Darn, It was a brand new tube too. She said I could challenge but it made more sense to replace the toiletries, so we proceeded to board the plane for the last leg of our journey within the US.
grandson Steven, Mama and Lilliane
We were welcomed in Pittsburg by family and Lilliane had her first bout of motion sickness. For the very first time she was in a car on a six lane highway with cars moving in opposite directions in her line of vision. Poor kid. It was enough to make anyone sick and especially a young girl not used to more than two or three cars at a time.

She experienced her first escalators at the airport and mastered that well and encountered two tunnels on the drive from the airport. The view of Pittsburgh as you emerge from the tunnel is breathtaking for me and so for her it was glorious. What an experience.

Four hours after arriving in Pittsburgh I spoke to a group of young children at the close of their Vacation Bible School about Urukundo and our kids.
vacation bible school talk
Unscheduled but rewarding. It was the perfect way to start my adventure in America. Talking to kids about kids.