Traveling, London, and Arrival

Friends and Family,

We have safely arrived in Zambia! Our team has had a FULL but great few days. Here's a little recap to paint the picture for you...

We gathered at DFW and successfully checked close to 80 bags and trunks. It felt great to drop the bags off and then not see them until Zambia. Our flight was on time out of DFW and we boarded a huge British Airways plane. Eight hours later, we landed at Heathrow. Most of our team struggled with getting enough sleep on that flight, so landing in London was a relief! We passed through customs with ease (it's amazing how the crowds part when they see a large group coming). Next stop: the city! We all hopped the Tube for underground travel directly into the heart of London. I was so proud of our team--navigating the crowds and train changes with ease. We stayed together the entire time...pretty impressive!

I arranged a bike tour for the group through Fat Tire Bike Tours, a renowned company run by friendly Aggies. What could be better! Most of the group jumped on bikes for the afternoon, while a small group decided to kick around the city. The tour was a huge success! We were fearful that the cold weather and potential rain would be a problem, but all things considered, it wasn't bad. We had a few sprinkles and some chilly wind. However, it was well worth the effort as we all enjoyed a guided tour of London's highlights: Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, Parliament, Buckingham Palace, Hyde Park, and Kensington Palace. It was a GREAT way to see the city!

The Lord really blessed each and every detail of the day...from the Tube to efficiency to returning to the airport. Everyone enjoyed a nice warm meal at Heathrow and tried desperately to stay awake!

Our flight to Lusaka was on time and we were all relieved (shockingly) to get on another plane with one goal in mind: SLEEP!! I'm proud to say that most of your weary travelers were able to get some shut-eye. I woke up to see the sun rising over Africa--pretty amazing!

Alissa and her wonderful team met us at the airport...as did each and every checked bag! Woohoo! It was impressive to watch the staff stack luggage into trucks, but they did it. We all rode in a large blue bus with Alissa. I must say, we turned a few heads as we drove through the city of Lusaka. Apparently a bus full of white people is a rare sighting!

Our accommodations will be perfect for the team. We are staying at a Baptist mission--a compound of sorts, settled behind a large stone wall with a friendly guard post. Boys are split up into several fully-furnished apartments with leaders. And the girls are enjoying a large apartment, big enough for all!

For the first time in days, we are all finally clean! A Zambian shower was the perfect way to begin our time here. In just a little bit, we will travel into city for lunch and some touring, followed by an early dinner and some much needed sleep in a BED!

I can't tell you how proud I am of our team. Robby and I remarked earlier that we feel like we are leading a trip of our little brothers and sisters. We LOVE your kids. What a gift to see Africa with them. Thank you for praying. We feel carried along, more than you know. Please pray for a restful night and some solid hours of sleep, as we all need it. For now, know that everyone is doing well and excited to be here. We will update as we go, so check back for more!

Our love and gratitude,
Ann