Well, it’s been over a week since my return from Ghana. I had planned on posting earlier, right when I got back actually, but that’s not how it worked out. For starters, getting out of Ghana was, well, interesting. My flight was supposed to leave around 10 pm. All of the others in my contingency left the night before as it is much easier to make it back to continental Europe than the States from West Africa. So that left me, the lone American, the last the leave just like I was the first to arrive, by myself in Africa, working my way home.

Instead of leaving at 10 pm, we left closer to 1 am. My flight was coming from Lagos, Nigeria and delayed because some “big chief” (a term many Ghanaians I met use to describe just about anyone who seems to think they are very important) thought it a wise idea to bribe an airport official and get his car on the tarmac so as to not miss his flight. Apparently he not only ended up missing his flight, but getting his car HIT BY A PLANE.

Not that anyone at the airport was telling us that.

By the time the plane actually arrived and they were boarding passengers I was delirious. Delirious from a lack of sleep, anxiety, and the stress of trying to figure out how I would get back to the states since SURELY I was stranded in Ghana. And all I can say is thank the goddess I was on a Lufthansa flight. Have you ever flown Lufthansa? If so, you know what I’m talking about. If not, check THIS out.

Not only were the airline staff friendly, helpful and polite, the plane was new, clean and comfortable. Booked in the cattle class I actually had 2 hot meals that were good, complimentary wine with the meal, and a cognac service after dinner. A cognac service. In coach. It was heaven. After a shortish 6 hr flight to Frankfurt the airline ushered us straight through to the connection to Chicago where it was more of the same magnificent service.

I finally made it back to Minnesota, a full 24 hours after I started traveling. Kelly and the kids met my flight and there were hugs, tears, and plenty of kisses for everyone.

I’ve got to say, I physically felt the distance from my kids while in Africa.  This was the longest I’d ever been away from either of them and if it wasn’t for Skype and the insomnia that allowed me to check in on them I don’t know that I would have been able to focus on the trip the way I needed to. And being around mothers and children for much of our visits only amplified those feelings of distance.

And then the week started. I got home late on Sunday and this house hit the ground running on Monday. Then it was the weekend and BOOM here I am on a Monday night, just re-organizing my thoughts from the experience. So thanks for the patience while I catch up. Stories to follow!

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