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Sunday, May 4, 2008

Love Letters (News): TIA (This is Africa)

As I will be sure to learn more in the near future, everything is different in Africa. Most obvious is that everything occurs on a different time scale. For example, an appointment for 9AM on Friday in Africa translates to "Maybe in the morning on Friday, or Saturday, or some day in the future."

Well, this concept of time is now becoming common in the aviation industry. Many flights are canceled now because of fuel costs in the US. All flights are full and there is no redundancy if something goes wrong (like a mechanical failure which grounds a plane). This past Friday (May 2nd), we got to experience this: After boarding the plane there was a software problem with the plane's navigation system. After re-booting the plane's computer twice it still didn't work (no surprise there, I hope the plane's operating system is a little more stable than windows 95 and won't "magically" fix itself by re-booting). Anyway, our flight was canceled and the airline had no way of handling 120 extra passengers. After waiting in a line for 5 hours, I was able to get the same exact schedule on Monday (May 5th) 3 days later.

Anyway, I took the whole experience as good practice for Africa. Ironically, it actually worked out quite well:

  • We were still in Dallas when this occurred instead of being stuck in some unfamiliar place.
  • We intended to give our cell phone to the people who took us to the airport in order to be mailed back to my parents. We forgot to hand the cell phone off and therefore had it with us (which was indeed a great blessing). We were able to update everyone on the situation and spend some of the time waiting by talking with friends and family.
  • Karen and I had only been able to get 3 hours of sleep the night before because of all the last minute loose strings to finish. With the extra three days (or actually two since one had been spent in line at the airport), we were able to get some rest having already tied all the loose strings. We have been able to enjoy our time with our friends and family instead of running around everywhere with endless errands.

Hopefully, the second attempt will go even smoother.

Rick Love


TIA: This is Aviation

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hello there! It has been very encouraging reading your "postings"; Daddy and Mama just sent us the website so I've been doing some catching up... God bless you guys and His work!
Love always,