My right side was drenched in red wine, and I hadn’t had anything to drink. “Oh, I’m so sorry,” said the flight attendant as she hustled me to the back of the plane. Thankfully, I was wearing a T-shirt, something to which I wasn’t particularly attached. Jacqueline scrubbed my shirt, gave me a clean shirt to wear, and some frequent flyer miles for the bother.
It was dawn as we descended into Amsterdam. The city looked beautiful in the time between night and day; the lights were glowing, the canals twinkled in the budding light, and red taillights beamed from the motorways. I always giggle when I think of Amsterdam. When I was studying in England, I went to Amsterdam for a weekend. My English friends gave me a hard time; they couldn’t believe I was going to Amsterdam just for the art. Of all the Americans on the trip, my friend and I were probably the only students who went there solely for the Rembrandts, Rubens, and Vermeers.
While I was waiting for my connection in Amsterdam and still reeling over paying seven dollars for a measly pastry and a very small cup of coffee, I struck up a conversation with a gentleman named Garry. He grew up in Zululand but has lived in Texas for thirteen years. He’s an engineer and fixes oil rigs all over the world. Garry was very familiar with The Upper Room, since he was involved with the Walk to Emmaus. We talked for more than an hour about life in South Africa and about faith. We exchanged cards and promised to be in touch. He’s a delightful man with many connections to NGOs in his native country. God is blessing my life with such amazing people before I even hit the ground in Cape Town.
We’re flying over the Italian Alps now, and the scenery is stunning. Snow-capped mountains stretch toward the sky; tiny villages dot the landscape. This is one of the few times I’m grateful to have a window seat.