Monday March 14, 2011

Today was an extremely exhausting day because today I flew back to Canada. Unfortunately I only got a couple of hour’s sleep last night so that didn’t help me out one bit because I started off my day exhausted. I had to get up at 3:00am to get ready for the airport. I didn’t have to leave until 4:20am but I wanted to give myself enough time to fold my bed sheets, put them away, take a quick shower and then get my stuff to leave. I felt so bad for leaving Minnie. This is my first time leaving her for this long, she is like my kid and I am going to miss her so much. I hope she will be alright while I’ll be in Canada.

When left my apartment building I got a phone call from the driver for the airport shuttle service. I answered my phone and told him that I’m coming. I honestly could not believe how rude and disrespectful he was to me. I basically told him that I’m coming but my luggage is heavy (I was pulling two pieces of luggage behind me and it was awkward to pull them). I was running five minutes late to meet him at the Trei G supermarket but honestly I paid 75 Lei ($25 CAD) for this shuttle service so he could have just met me at my apartment building. It was really stupid in the first place for me to have to drag my luggage down the street to meet him when he should have just met me at my apartment building.

I couldn’t believe how rude and disrespectful he was to me. I basically told him that I’m coming and my luggage is heavy. His response was he was not interested and we have to leave. I asked him if he could drive up to my building because I saw him waiting in the van down the street which was just stupid and I was so annoyed. Finally he did drive the van to my building. When he came I apologized to him but he still acted quite disrespectful to me. I couldn’t believe it because here I am paying for his service. Romania has no good customer services whatsoever and that really annoys me!

After the driver picked up me, he then picked up four more people and then we headed to the Budapest airport. I was quite surprised how long the drive took to the airport (almost 3 hours from Oradea) but thankfully we arrived at 7:20am Hungarian time which was two hours before my flight so I still arrived on time. I thanked the driver, got my stuff and then headed into the airport to check in.

There was a long line up for my flight so I waited for a while, then when I got to this self check in booth that one of the workers was in charge of, the machine didn’t work for me (I guess because my travel agent changed my departure date on my original ticket) so she told me to go to the counter. I got into a little panic about my ticket but thankfully everything was fine when I checked in at the counter.

The airline I flew with on all of my flights (Budapest to Frankfurt and then Frankfurt to Toronto) was with Lufthansa airline. Now they are charging for the second piece of check in luggage so I had to go to the Lufthansa customer service to pay for my second piece of luggage and then back to the counter to finish my check in. When that was finally finished I headed to my gate.

When I got to my gate I found out that my flight was delayed an hour because my plane was late flying into the Budapest airport.  So, instead of my flight leaving from Budapest at 9:20am, it left instead around 10:00am. Thankfully I had almost a three hour stopover in Frankfurt so everything was still alright with getting my next flight. My first flight from Budapest to Frankfurt was only a 40 minute flight which was quite short but it was a bit larger plane then what I thought it would be (it had six seats across). On my first flight I had a Romanian couple sit beside me which was kind of nice to speak a bit of Romanian with them.

I was glad that I still had a couple of hours in Frankfurt because it’s a huge airport and when I got there I had to not only find my next gate but also go through security too. When I found my connecting gate I decided to upload my pictures from my camera onto my computer just so I could kill some time while I waited for my next flight. While I did that this family looked at me kind of in a panic about the gate number and asked me if it is the right one for our flight. It turned out they changed the gate number for my flight to Toronto so thankfully they told me that because I didn’t hear any announcements.

My flight from Frankfurt to Toronto left on time and everything went smoothly with boarding the plane. There was a girl who sat beside me on the plane at first but then she moved a bit later on because her screen wasn’t working but it was nice to talk to her for a bit before she switched seats. I asked her if she was going home or travelling. She told me that she is going home. Then she asked me if I was going home or travelling. I told her well that’s kind of a hard question to answer because I am going home but I also live in Romania and that’s home for me too. I ended up telling her a bit of what I’m doing in Romania because she expressed interest in hearing what I do there so I share a bit with her.

It was quite a large plane that I took. I think there were seven or eight seats that went

The plane I flew with from Frankfurt to Toronto

across and it was almost full.  There were screens on the back of every seat which was really nice and you could even select your own movies that you want to watch too. Unfortunately there wasn’t a very good movie selection on my plane but I did watch one good movie called Secretariat. The meals were okay on the plane but not the best that I have had on my previous flights. I have to admit I was quite impressed with the washrooms on the plane. I never saw anything like it. There were five bathrooms in the center of the plane. I had to go down this small set of stairs before I got to the floor of the washrooms.

It was a long eight hour flight. I left from Frankfurt at 11:05am and arrived in Toronto at 5:40pm (local times). I was very tired travelling back so I tried to sleep but unfortunately I didn’t have much luck with that. I did a bit of reading and I also did my Bible study homework as well. I was very glad when we landed in Toronto because flying for me is just exhausting. We had beautiful weather for the arrival too!

I had an interesting experience when I went through customs at the Toronto airport. The man at the booth asked me where I flew from. I told him from Frankfurt but my first flight was from Budapest and then I told him that I actually left from Romania this morning. He then asked me what I was doing in Romania. I told him that I am living in Romania and working with orphan and gypsy children there. Then I told him that I’m home in Canada for three months for a visit to see my family and friends. Then he asked me to write my address in Romania which was the first time I was asked that since I moved to Romania. After I wrote my Romanian address down on the customs card, he then crossed out my Canadian address which I thought was interesting. It made me feel like a visitor in my home country!

After I went through customs, I got my luggage, exchanged the EURO that I had to Canadian dollars and then went through the doors where my parents were waiting for me. It was so great like always to see their big smiles on my parent’s faces when they saw me. I can tell they were happy to see me and I was also very happy to see them too especially after a long exhausting day of travelling. My parents actually thought that I had missed my flight because by the time I got out it was a good 45 minutes after my flight landed. I told them that everything was fine with my flight and it just took longer than I thought it would take to get out with customs, getting my luggage, etc.

Before we went home we decided to go out for dinner. We went to Denny’s restaurant. Dinner was great and then we shared a delicious dessert afterwards. It was good to finally get home. It was great to see my family’s cats again! I’m sure it will take a few days for Libby and Grace to warm up to me again because I have been away from home for almost a year. I love being with our family’s cats but I’m sure going to miss my own cat – Minnie! I’m thankful though that Minnie is well taken care of while I’m in Canada.

I would like to thank everyone for praying for my travels today. I praise God for His protection as I flew back to Canada. I’m so glad that all of my flights and connections very went well. I would appreciate your continuous prayers during my time I will be home in Canada over the next few months. I need to get my financial support situation resolved before I go back in June. Thanks again so much for your prayers! I’ll continue to keep you updated on how things go.

About Andrea

I am from Whitby, Ontario. I have lived in Romania for 9 years as a missionary but I am currently in Canada on a sabbatical break at this time. I have also lived in South Korea for a year and I have also been to Russia, Uganda, Albania and the Czech Republic on short-term mission trips. In 2012, God also gave me an amazing opportunity to go to Mozambique for the Harvest Mission School with Iris Ministries as well. I love children, reaching out to people who are in need and vulnerable, I have a passion to fight against the injustice issue of human trafficking and to simply share the love of Jesus wherever I go. I also love cats too and I have a cat of my own named Minnie!
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