Thursday, June 11, 2009


adventures and stories are never any good without conflict and airports are rather dull places unless you have a challenge, and my first challenge came before i even got my ticket. my new bag was to heavy. 13 pounds to heavy to be exact, it was 63 pounds and the limit for a checked bag was 50 i needed to loose 13 pounds immediately. luckily my friend tim had room in his bag to spare, so the first thirteen pounds of clothes, mostly heavy jackets, went into Tim's bag, this turned into one of the greatest blessings during the whole trip. after that we got our tickets got on a plane and headed to san francisco.

san fran
our time in san fran was nice but short we had about 15 minutes at the airport just enough time to get to a bathroom and board the next flight to chicago.

chicago was just as nice as san fran but in stead of having to little time we had four hours to kill. so we got lunch charged our ipods and napped, one very good thing came out of this airport, the iGo. the iGo is a battery powered universal charger. why would i need this beyond just having a cool gadget? my phone, i lost my phone charger two days before i left kona and i needed some way to charge my phone so i bought the iGo and adapters for my phone and ipod and i was set to go to london.

i like traveling its fun especially when the plane is half empty, you can walk around, change seats, basically do what ever. i had a middle aisle seat so i missed flying into the sunset but i changed seats near the end of the flight and looked out the window. a million points of light shining out in the black night and to the right quickly filling the sky was the pale light of the sun, chasing away nights blackness and the beauty of the stars. as we flew into london we flew into the sunrise, there are no words to describe the beauty and wonder that i felt in that plane watching a sunrise in fast forward. underneath me was a field of clouds dotted with the flickering lights of what looked liked fires burning. and then i was in london. not only was i in london but i was in london for breakfast a true full english, but i didn't have the egg because they are gross. it was epic i was in the homeland of Tolkein and the adopted homeland of lewis, and my ancestral home, just soaking in the england that i could, the airport. My friends and I happened to do so much soaking that we almost missed the final check in to board our plane. there i was in an unfamiliar airport running on moving sidewalks following signs, and you might not have guessed what i was thinking, most people would say i was hoping that i wouldn't miss my flight, maybe in the back of my mind i was thinking that. no i was thinking the whole time man this is going to make a great story, and if i miss my flight it will be an even better one. we did not miss the flight instead we made it onto the nicest plane i have ever been on.

A Plane to Bahrain
I'm from seattle, so i know Boeing planes, this was not a Boeing plane, this was air bus. and of course we were in economy, but it felt like economy plus! i had my own 13 inch screen, i could watch t.v. movies and play video games! i did none of these things no i turned on my ipod and crashed hard i am not sure how long the flight was cause i don’t care i was comfortable. for the first time on a plane since we left kona, i had room to stretch my legs, plus the two seats next to me were open, it was great. we also were served a great meal. my first taste of the middle east, my appetite was wet, and i was about to get even more. Bahrain is a rich island off the coast of saudi arabia, the airport was more of a mall then anything. Mcdonalds, its a staple of the west, but it has made it to the east and so they have regional food, in the middle east they have the McArabia, its a Gyro, i have yet to try one but i really want to maybe on the way back. i had one last plane to go my final red eye.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Last Days in Kona

the last days in kona were some of the best and most important in my life. my parents visited me. they couldn't have come at a better time, it was three weeks from when i was going to leave and i became very homesick and i was talking to my mom and telling her that they could always visit me. the next day before work duty my dad called and told me that they would be coming to see me in two weeks. they were supposed to arrive on a wednesday. i was walking down to meet my friend who was going to take me to the airport to pick them up when i got a call from my mom, they had landed early i thought, to my surprise quite the opposite was the case, they had not even gone to the airport. what happened was my dad got either the flu or food poisoning, and was so sick they couldn't come, so they had to reschedule. saturday the day before they were supposed to arrive i got a call, now my mom was sick, at this point i knew that God wanted them in Hawaii but the devil didn't, and to be perfectly honest i was sick of delays so i got my friends together and called my mom. like i said before i expect God to work in miraculous ways, and he does and did, the next morning my parents got on a plane and came to see me.

that few days that my parents were in kona were incredibly important for our relationship. at first i was super excited that they were there but then it dawned on me, what are we going to do? you see my parents aren’t exactly beach people, and there is not to much to do in Hawaii besides go to the beach, not to mention the other problem. i had changed so much over the past two and a half months that i wasn’t sure how to act around my parents. so the second day showed up and my dad asked me a question that was probably well deserved, seeing as i was being the worlds most awkward turtle, he asked;

“are you feeling alright?”

“ya why” i responded

“well your just really quiet, do you not want us to be here?”

I’m not sure how that ended but we ended up going to get shave ice and it got even more awkward there. so we are all three waiting in line when my dad gets a call i asked my mom who it was, because my dads face gave the classic tell tell signs of receiving bad news, she said it was my sister and that grandma had just died. my dads mom was dead, his parents were now both gone, and he was receiving this news from his daughter, in hawaii, while in line for an afternoon desert. well if that didn't just push the afternoon into to hyperdrive awkward mode I'm not sure what could. i called my brother, to let him know what was up. now don't get me wrong i loved my grandma, she was my grandma, but i didn't really know her, we never spent much time with her. after that my dad, who has been to kona before wanted to show my mom the places he had been, so we went for a drive. what do you say to your dad when his mom just died? “hey cheer up dad at least it wasn’t you?” no you say “I’m sorry” just like the rest of the world and you sit in the back of the car enjoying the silence and tension, feeling like a moron because you just said the least comforting thing in the entire universe. seriously how is I’m sorry supposed to make things better in any way shape or form? it doesn’t instead it just makes you feel a little better because you just said some thing that sounds consoling. but thats a rant back to the story.

so my parents don't think i want them there, we have nothing really to do and my grandma just died, this was officially the most awkward moment of my entire life to date and i hope that it never gets topped. so we drive to waikaloa and after having a snow cone the size of my head and hearing bad news i needed to pee so we stopped at a gas station and i went in and asked jesus a simple question, “jesus what do i do?” “ask your dad how he is doing with me.” he replied. i was incredulous but thats what i heard, so i got back in the car and just to be consistent with the rest of the day i asked my dad how him and God were, but i did it in an entirely awkward fashion. but to my surprise it wasn’t another awkward moment, my dad totally opened up and all of a sudden all the awkwardness and not knowing how to act around my parents, everything, just fell way. the rest of the night was great we got dinner and talked about Jesus and what he was doing in my life and what he was doing in their lives and in our family’s life. the rest of the couple days were great and made getting to pakistan possible.

when my parents got to kona i needed over $2,300 dollars, for this trip. but due to adding errors it was significantly less, and as most of you know i got the money i needed. not only did i get the money i need but I got a surplus of over $1,300 dollars with that i was able to help my roommate pay for his trip to iraq. but not only that i was able to get an ipod, now i know what your going to say, “alex the money we donated was for you to go to pakistan, and your work there, not for you to get an ipod.” well rest assured that this was a hard decision to make and that your money is being put to good use. not only did my money come in but God also blessed me with a $300 dollar hiking bag, a few nights before i started to pack i went into my room and next to my bed was a massive hiking pack with a note on top that said “for alex” to this day i do not know who gave it to me, but if your reading this thank you it is being put to good use.

the rest of my time in kona was spent getting ready to leave the place that i have grown so fond of and so attached to, and the people that i love and hold so dearly. sadly all good things must come to an end. my bag was packed the rest of my stuff was in storage and my room was clean. it was time. the goodbyes began and to my surprise the goodbyes came with tears, i knew that i loved my friends but i had no idea how much they loved me. now i am not so silly as to think that all the tears were falling solely on my account, my whole school was leaving. we said our goodbyes, got into the vans and went to the airport as the sun sank into the western ocean, waking up the other side of the world that i would soon be in. we got to the airport and then said one of the hardest goodbyes, we had to say goodbye to each other, our school was breaking up to go to five distinctly different places. then we went to the check in.

the longest journey yet

the last ten weeks will now be chronicled of the next two weeks, sorry for the lack of updates but i was in an unsecure country pakistan and could not post but im back in the usa so buckle up your in for a wild ride