Rick Gregory, Writer

Translating Messages From Heads To Hearts

Ouagadougou #1

What started out as a simple trip got a bit more complicated in Paris. Trip from Los Angeles to Paris was uneventful. After a ~10-hour flight, we were to have a “short” 4-hour layover at CDG2 in Paris, then fly direct to Oagadougou. Instead, we were privileged to enjoy French hospitality in the airport for just under 12 hours as they repaired our plane. No real restaurant. About $75 for a dinner of plastic-box-pre-made Caesar salads, one beverage each, a single baguette with a pickle and some strange meat inside to share and about 24 Pringles; “Stretching out” on built-in seating at one of the gates and some lady repeating at 3 – 5 minute intervals over a megadecimal loudspeaker how dangerous it is to let your bag out of your sight.

Arrived in Ouagadougou at about 2:30 am, after being mostly awake (with a few drift-offs sitting in odd positions) for somewhere around 30 hours. First impression was that it smelled just like everywhere else we’ve been in Africa. Hot, slow-moving lines and people packed against you vying for their place in front of the Immigration Police. Most of them (- and all of me) tired, unwashed, sweaty and quite fragrant (use your imagination about what the fragrance might have been). Even in the middle of the night, the air quality was poor, with dust and diesel exhaust haunting and clawing each inhale. And yet, I reveled in the reality that God had brought me once again to a continent and people for which He has given me an insatiable love!

Slept for about 4 hours here at the Assemblies of God Church compound and waiting for the rest of the gang to get back from church. I think Julie (Schumacher) is still sleeping (haven’t seen her yet this morning), and Josh (Swanson) went to the church service to see his cousin preach. I’m gonna try to get a bit more sleep before everyone returns.

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