Saturday, March 10, 2007

The EXTRA LONG Trip Home from Indonesia

Hi everyone! I am safely home back in Iowa!

Man, it took a REALLY long time to get here! As you know, our flight in Banda Aceh was really, really late. Kristin didn't tell me until we were home why the plane was late because she didn't want me to be worried. I thought King Tut was just mad at Kristin again. But she says an important piece of equipment on the plane wasn't working. I knew she was worried we would miss our next flights, but now I think she was worried about the plane. Whew! I am glad the plane was OK. King Tut must not have been too mad at Kristin!

I thought we were late because the power kept going off at the airport. It was really strange, all of a sudden the lights would go out and it would get REALLY dark. Kristin says the power goes out all of the time in Aceh. I had no idea! The power was on all of the time we were at the hotel. Kristin says that's because the hotel has something called a generator. The generator makes the lights stay on even if the power goes out. Who knew?

Here I am watching Kristin's bags at the Banda Aceh airport (while the power was on!).

While we were waiting for the plane, Kristin started talking to a very nice woman from Canada. Her name is Huguette. She stayed at the same hotel we did in Banda Aceh. She was waiting for the same flight Kristin was taking from Banda Aceh to Medan. And, she was also supposed to be on the flight Kristin was taking from Medan to Singapore.

It was really dark outside when we finally got on the plane in Banda Aceh. It was also REALLY hot on the plane. When the plane finally took off, the take-off was really, really bouncy!

It's a good thing Kristin and Huguette started talking. They knew when we finally got off the plane in Medan that we had missed the flight to Singapore. Huguette was sitting much closer to the door on the plane, so she walked really fast to the airline office. The airline (Garuda) agreed to pay for hotel rooms for the people who missed their flights. But, the airline said Kristin and Huguette had to share a room. I thought this was really strange. Kristin did too, but she wasn't going to argue. She just wanted to get to the hotel so she could get our flights fixed.

Here I am at the hotel.

Kristin was able to get her friend Susan at the Stanley Foundation on instant message. Susan was then able to call Kristin's travel agent and send all of the info Kristin needed for our new flights. Then she told me that we were going to have to spend the night in Singapore. That meant we were going to get home a whole day late. Oh no! Kristin must have seen the look on my face because she told me not to worry. She said everything was fine. She also told me she sent a note to Aunt Lynn to tell her I would be late getting home.

Since Huguette was able to help get the hotel room in Medan, Kristin and Susan then helped Huguette get her flights fixed. Kristin and Huguette got to bed VERY late, but they had seats on the next flight out of Medan by the time they turned the lights off.

Kristin woke me up very early so we could get to the airport. She didn't want to miss our flight to Singapore. Everything went fine at the airport. Kristin and Huguette got seats on the plane and the flight was on time! Whew!

While we were on the plane, I asked Kristin where we were going to stay in Singapore. She told me not to worry. Huguette had a room at a hotel and she offered to share it if the hotel didn't have a room for Kristin.

The hotel, the Pan Pacific, was WAY better than the hotel in Banda Aceh! And, they had a room for Kristin. It was hot and sunny in Singapore, but Kristin let me spend some time on her room's balcony while she was working on her computer.

I could see water from the balcony. I also saw a a cool metal thing from the balcony. Kristin told me it was the most interesting construction crane she has ever seen.

Kristin and Huguette had dinner at the hotel's restaurant that night. Here I am with my new friend Huguette!

Right after dinner, Kristin told me I needed to get to bed because we were going to have a long trip home. She was right!

It took more than 6 hours to fly from Singapore to Tokyo, Japan. I've never been to Japan before! I wanted to go out and explore the city but Kristin told me we didn't have time. :( I guess I will have to keep Japan on my list of places I want to visit again. Kristin knew I was disappointed, so she found a map of Japan on her computer while we were waiting in the airport for our flight to Chicago.

Our flight to Chicago was on time and Kristin was able to get us home from the airport without having to drive in a snow storm! But, I was SO tired that Kristin decided to let me sleep instead of taking a photo of me.

I want to thank Kristin for taking me to Aceh. I learned lots of new things and saw tons of cool animals! I also want to thank Kristin for helping me get my blog updated. The Internet connection in Aceh was SO slow that Kristin would spend LOTS of time after I went to bed posting my photos. Thanks Kristin!

I also want to thank my new friend Huguette for being so nice to me. I MUST thank Kristin's friend Susan in Iowa City for helping Kristin get the cool upstairs seat on the plane to Singapore. And, I want to thank Kristin's friend Susan in Muscatine for working with Susan in Iowa City to get us back to Iowa.

Man, I am really tired again. I must have that jet-lag stuff. I have one more story about Aceh I want to write about, but I think I will take a nap first. I'll try to get the last story done tomorrow.

Until next time....