On Monday May 12, I flew back to Romania to return as a full-time staff member with Global Outreach at their base in Targu Mures, Romania. My flight back I must say was quite the adventurous one and it is well worth writing about!
The original plan was my brother was going to drive me to the airport as well as my Mom and then my Dad was going to meet us at the Toronto airport since my Dad’s work was close to the airport but as we drove to the airport things changed and I’ll explained what happened!
First of all I was totally not organized and well prepared to leave for the airport last Monday as we were suppose to be leaving for the airport at 2:15pm for my 6:20pm flight. I have to be honest I love traveling but I hate packing, especially when I fly. For some reason I never got use to the idea and I always seem to get nervous packing and going to the airport (though I feel totally fine when I’m on the plane). So, at 2:00pm I was still scrambling around packing, cleaning and organizing my things. Finally at 2:30pm we got out the door.
My brother put my suitcase and my duffle bag in the trunk of the car. He went in the car and waited for my Mom and I to get in. My Mom and I hurriedly grabbed all of my things that I wanted to bring. I got into the car and settled into my seat for the ride to the airport. My brother was driving at a good speed without hardly any traffic and then when we got to Scarborough (we were driving on the 401 hwy) panic hit me as I suddenly realized that my labtop carrying case wasn’t next to me! I have no idea why I didn’t notice when we pulled out of the drive way. For some reason I thought my Mom took my labtop carrying case and put it in the car maybe in trunk but she didn’t because she thought I did.
When I asked my Mom about my labtop carrying case she suddenly realized that she brought it outside and set it outside the front door but then she realized that she didn’t have her keys on her so she told me to go through the garage. When I realized that I not only forgot my labtop carrying case with my plane ticket inside one of the pockets I started crying and became very emotional because it was outside our house and of course I needed that too! My Mom called my Dad on his cell phone explained the situation to him. He told her that he would go back and get it. He also phoned our neighbor to see if he could check if it’s there. We have such good neighbors he not only checked to see if it was there but he also met my Dad in Ajax!
When we got to the airport the adventure didn’t stop there! I didn’t have my plane ticket with me but my Mom suggested we try and check in so we can get rid of my luggage. I agreed and said it’s worth a try. As we were waiting in line we decided to call my Nana and ask her to pray because we know she is quite a prayer warrior!
When we got to the counter I was still feeling quite emotional from the stress of going to the airport so my Mom explained to the lady at the counter the situation that I forgot my labtop carrying case at home that also has my plane ticket with it. She was kind and told me I could still check in. I handed her my passport and she put me into the system. I then got another unexpected surprise. She then told me “I don’t want to give you any more stress but the flight has been overbooked and as of right now you don’t have a seat”. I was in shock and tears started to roll down my eyes because I have never been in that situation before!
She then went on to tell me that this happens all the time with flights but they will make a priority for me to get a seat because I have another flight. She told me she can still check my luggage in. When I weighted my luggage I found out then that both of them were overweight by 7 kilo grams. She told me I would need to re-sort my luggage otherwise she would have to charge me for it which is $60 for each bag. I started to look through my bag and see what I could take out. I took out one of the games I brought which was 3 ½ kilo grams for just that alone.
She realized that I was taking a lot of stuff that wasn’t just for me but also for other people. Out of the kindness of her heart she then told me “okay, close up the bags and I’ll put it through before the Austrian workers in the red jackets see us”. Wow, it was amazing that she didn’t charge me for the luggage for being over weight! That was miracle number one, well actually two because our neighbor was home and he was able to help me get my labtop carrying case to my Dad!
After I checked my luggage in she told me to go back to her when I get my plane ticket. She told me that when I go to the gate they will call my name if they are able to get a seat for me. I told her thank-you and then we went to wait for Dad.
My Mom and I took turns using the washroom we probably needed to go because of our nerves. When I got out of the washroom I saw my Dad there waiting me for me. He had my labtop carrying case with everything in it! He told me when he drove back to the airport he didn’t have any traffic which is very unusual for Toronto traffic which was another miracle!
I went back to the counter to give the lady my plane ticket. She then gave me a temporary boarding pass. My parents and I decided to get something to eat for supper. I tried to enjoy our last meal we’ll be having together for a while but my mind was on my seat. My parents asked me “how do we know you have got a seat or not?” I told them I didn’t know so we decided to go back to the same lady who checked me in. She was busy so we just waited near by until she was free. Then a few minutes later she walked up to us and told us that she was glad to see us because she was able to find me a seat! Wow, another miracle! My parents and I just starred at each other in amazement of how good God is and how God worked out everything! We saw God’s favor that day, especially the lady who checked me in!
Then it was time for me to go through customs. I waited a few minutes to chat with my parents before I left them but at that time I didn’t want to leave them because I was feeling so stressful and anxious (yes I know I got my seat but it was a very stressful day!). My parents then decided to pray for me before we parted. It was such a blessing beyond what I could possibly put into words that my parents took the time to do that for me as they both prayed over me I felt God reassuming presence and I knew in my heart that everything would be okay.
I feel truly blessed to have such amazing parents who love me so much and support me the way they do with their constant encouragement and prayers. They didn’t even yell at me nor get angry with me because I forgot my labtop carrying case at home which was a bit of a surprise but instead they reassured me that everything was going to be okay and they were there for me. After we prayed we gave each other hugs and took a couple of pictures. I went through customs and then we waved good-bye to each other.
I walked to my gate and found a seat to wait for the boarding time. As I waited I heard a family speaking in Romanian which got me excited to return back to Romania! My flight was supposed to leave at 6:20pm but it was delayed until 7:00pm instead. My connection was through Vienna and originally I was suppose to get a little more then 2 hours in Vienna but because my flight from Toronto left later I had less time in Vienna for my connection.
I finally boarded the plane and we took off at 7:15pm. My first flight from Toronto to Vienna was my long one which was an 8 ½ hour flight. It was a long flight but it was alright. I got two meals on the plane and on the back of every seat we had our own personal screen to watch TV and movies which was great! The man who sat beside me hardly spoke a word of English and I’m not sure what his first language was so we didn’t talk much during the flight. The only thing which was a bit uncomfortable on my flight was I had a terrible stomach ache most of the flight (probably from my body reacting to the stress I had from earlier that day). Besides the painful stomach ache I had a good flight.
I arrived in Vienna around 10:00 am local time. I was quite surprised the Vienna airport was much smaller then I thought it would be unless it was only that part of the airport I was at. I had around an hour in Vienna before I got my next flight. I made my connection to Cluji, Romania with no problems. I was shocked at the size of my second plane! I think it must have been one of the smallest I had been on! My second flight I flew with Tarom Romanian airline which was my first time flying with a Romanian airline. The flight was a short one. It was just under two hours. They gave us a small meal on that flight. That flight was good.
When I arrived in Romania I was so happy, especially after all I had been through to get there but then the adventure didn’t stop there as I had a few problems at the airport! When I went to customs I wasn’t sure what to say to the girl because I am staying longer then three months (if you are an American or Canadian you can come to Romania for 90 days without getting a visa) when she asked me how long I am staying for. I told her I’m an English teacher and I will be getting a visa. She looked very puzzled. After five minutes I decided to give her my old visa to see if that would clear things up. She then said to me “I asked you if you had a visa but you didn’t answer me”. To be honest I never heard her say that to me and I wasn’t sure if my old visa was any good because I had left the country but it turned out to be just fine and she stamped my passport.
I then breathed a sign of relief and went to get my luggage which was the last ones on the belt. They were both heavy and awkward to carry at the same time so I asked the security lady if I can do one at a time. She then went to ask me a whole list of questions like if I have anything to declare, if I have any alcoholic, etc. I replied no and then she went on to ask me what I had in my luggage. I told her it was my personal belongings. That answer didn’t satisfy her. She then asked me if she can look at my luggage. She put it on a table and opened up all of my pockets and asked me what all of my stuff is. She asked me numerous questions about my things like why I’m bringing all of this extra stuff, she told me I needed a prescription for my vitamins I brought, etc.
Finally she let me go after five minutes of searching my luggage which felt like eternally! Oh, and she saw one of the colorful pencils I brought for the children and asked me for one. I thought to myself, are you serious! Of course I let her take one because I wasn’t about to tell her no and make me look bad!
I really could not believe what happened to me at the Cluji airport which is such a small airport in Romania. Next time I am just going to show my visa along with my passport the first time and then I won’t have any problems but as for being searched….I never had that happened to me before in my life! This was my sixth time flying into Romania, though it was my first time n Cluji but honestly all of my previous trips to Romania I have always brought extra stuff that wasn’t mine for ministry and for the school and I never had a problem before at the Bucharest or Targu Mures airport so I don’t know why it happened this time! Maybe she was really bored and wanted something to do or maybe she was just suspicious because the lady was puzzled at customs.
I then sat down and waited for my friend Mihai to pick me up at the airport and when he came I felt very relived to see him especially after what happened at the airport. We waited an hour for our friend Prya to arrive because she was in Germany for a week and her flight was just shortly after mine. The drive to Targu Mures was just over two hours but it was beautiful as we drove through the country side.
I am so glad to be back in Romania! I do praise God that He is watching over us and is always taking care of us which was very evident in my journey back to Romania. I honestly never experienced so many problems coming back to Romania but maybe that is a sign that I’m suppose to be here and the enemy was trying his best to instill worry and fear in me. I know that God wants me here in Romania beyond a shallow of a doubt and I saw His divine favor over me as I came back to serve Him here! We truly serve a great and awesome God!