Friday, December 21, 2007

Seven Luggages

Preached the final time in Hope LA today. This is my eighth Sunday sermon in a trot. After service the church prays for us. Some members take farewell photos with us. Next is lunch meeting with Jarred, Jonathan and Golf which is followed by the Care Leaders meeting. Then Dinah and I meet Chai and Crystal in their office. Finally is the Ministry Leaders meeting till 8 pm. Dinner is with Golf.

Monday starts with breakfast and I. Dinah packs 7 luggages. David, a new friend calls from Atlanta. Then Al calls from Irvine. Next we drive to return the rented cello and have a late lunch. Then we pack some more before farewell dinner with the LA leaders. Then Dinah and I have a final discussion with Chai afterwards.

Tuesday is our last breakfast here. Lee and Cynthia arrive. We take 7 luggages and 9 carry-on items on two hotel trolleys onto 2 cars. The 3 airport trolleys cost $3 rental each. It's a full flight. Security is very tight because the Israeli airline is flying today.

We arrive in the Tokyo airport at 6 pm Wed for an hour transit. On the way back to the plane I meet a guy I used to know from junior college. We arrive at the Singapore airport at 1:35 am Thu. We are surprised to see Simon waiting for us. Dan and I take 1 taxi whilst Simon takes Dinah and Deb. We step into our place just after 2 am. Its a blessing to live near the airport. We unpack the perishable items and wash up and are in bed at 5 am. We're all awake at noon. We do the laundry, get fresh groceries and unpack. Dan gets feverish. We sleep early.

I get up 3 times. The twins don't sleep much thanks to jet lag. Its Fri morn and Dan's fever seems higher. We put him at Jan's place and we go to office. Its good to see the staff. We catch up over Marsli and Maureen's pies. We are off in the evening to bring Dan home. David, Alice, Daniel and Charmaine come to our home for a meeting.

We are adjusting back. This year's three and half week trip is shorter than my six-week trip last year. Well there was Urbana '06 last year. We've learnt a few things about being out. One is that LA speaks 127 languages. So it's hard to speak of a LA culture. Another is tipping. This means an additional 10-20% of top of the restaurant bill depending on the service. The third would have to be managing jackets. We check the temperature forecast before we go out. We lug 4 jackets around... Its different back home. As we adjust I am thankful for the cool and rainy days here.

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