The past two days have destroyed my sense of time. Between changing time zones twice, flying through the night, flying for more than 6 hours at a time, having periodic naps, and standing in lines for long stretches, I have stopped keeping a close eye on time. I guess that is a fitting entrance to Africa.
On Tuesday I was counting every minute making sure I worked enough hours for the week and rushing through getting out the door to make our plane on time. This afternoon we didn’t have to manage ant firm times for events to happen. Our plan was to fly directly from Brussels to Monrovia, Liberia. God apparently had other plans. After about four hours into our “last flight” to Liberia the pilots decided it was necessary to divert the flight to Senegal, several countries up the west coast of Africa.We would fid out later that some unexpected bad weather had caused a crack in the windshield of the airplane and the Dakar airport was better prepared to make the repairs.

The past two days have destroyed my sense of time. Between changing time zones twice, flying through the night, flying for more than 6 hours at a time, having periodic naps, and standing in lines for long stretches, I have stopped keeping a close eye on time. I guess that is a fitting entrance to Africa. On Tuesday I was counting every minute making sure I worked enough hours for the week and rushing through getting out the door to make our plane on time. This afternoon we didn’t have to manage ant firm times for events to happen. Our plan was to fly directly from Brussels to Monrovia, Liberia. God apparently had other plans. After about four hours into our “last flight” to Liberia the pilots decided it was necessary to divert the flight to Senegal, several countries up the west coast of Africa.We would fid out later that some unexpected bad weather had caused a crack in the windshield of the airplane and the Dakar airport was better prepared to make the repairs.

Crowd of people in a parking lot with lots of luggage with a white bus
Waiting outside the airport for a bus to the hotel

We followed the mass of other displaced travelers out of the airport to where bus after bus came to shuttle people and their luggage to our hotel. But this long wait provided us with an opportunity to connect with the other people on our flight to Monrovia including native Liberians and humanitarian/missions workers. This first look at Africa was a great introduction to the differences in culture that we may have to face. I enjoyed looking at the way people dressed, how they interacted with each other, and how the English speaking Liberians interacted with the primarily French speaking Senegal workers. When our boxes finally got loaded on a bus and we packed inside, we got a small tour of the city on the way to our hotel. I was reminded of many scenes from Bekah and my trip to Kosovo in eastern Europe last year. Things like the concrete buildings, the mix of businesses, and people standing around. But there were also significant differences. Dakar Senegal had more poverty, more English, and more social/open people than Mitrovica, Kosovo. It was great to explore this new world.

View of a pool surrounded by palm trees at night
Nighttime view from our hotel room overlooking the ocean and pool

As we arrived at the hotel, we were pleasantly surprised to find our temporary housing was a upscale place. We were able to get an ocean view room and meal all provided by Brussels Airlines. After so much traveling, it was a blessing to be able to relax (and take a shower).

View of the ocean and a pool surrounded by palm trees from a hotel balcony
Daytime view from hotel

Things are still up in the air for our real final flight to Liberia but for being stick for a while, we are pretty well off. We will also be looking to see how God uses this delay. Update: Our flight to Monrovia has been set for Sunday meaning we will be in Senegal another day.


Originally published at liveloveliberia.blogspot.com on July 24, 2015.