(Photo: A joyous, eye-squinting photo of my well-cropped, sleep-deprived self at Narita Airport)
Just a quick entry to say that I am back safe and sound in Kyoto. I had a wonderful story to share about the trip. My dad was kind enough to drive me from Sulphur to Houston and put me up in a nice hotel near the airport. That night I repacked my bags and set the alarm for 4AM to make a 6AM flight. Everything went as clockwork. I was not happy at 4Am but I was awake and after a shower an some coffee I was ok. I got to the airport an hour before the flight time. I got to the counter to check in my bags and then the clerk stopped with a strange look on her face...
Clerk: You're at the wrong airport
Clerk: Your flight leaves from Hobby Airport; not here. [George Bush Intercontinental Airport]
(I look at my interary and it only says "Houston")
Me: Great... what do I do?
Clerk: I would put you on standby but the 6:00 flight to Atlanta is over booked already.
(I look at my interary at calcalate that even with the 6:00 flight I would have less than and hour layover. The next flight was at 8:00 ... no good.)
Me: What about another airline. I know that [another airline] has a 6:00 flight to Atlanta...
Clerk: It is too late. You wouldn't make it. All I can offer is to put you on standby.
Me: (sullenly) ok
I make it to the gate and they were already boarding. I told the attendant I was on standby and sat down. I texted my sister and asked her to pray and began praying myself. As i was praying I was aware of the fact that there was nothing I could do to fix the situation and that there were a group of people sitting on the edge of their seats waiting to see if they could fly as well... and I was at the end of that list... I had mixed feelings. I was desperate to board that plane but also was feeling compassion for the others who were in a similar situation.
Then the attendant called me over. As I was expecting the worst, she took my ticket and let me board! As I boarded the plane, the others that were waiting boarded as well! On an overbooked flight, everyone had a seat!
As I sat down the gentleman noticed my bible and introduced himself as a Christian. Gary and his family were on their way to the Dominican Republic for his oldest son's wedding. As I told him my story about how I was able to board the plane, he was really surprised.
Gary said that they had booked the flight weeks ago. He wanted to sit with his wife but the seat next to him was reserved. He tried in the coming weeks to get that seat but never could ... my seat, the one I was sitting in but didn't reserve...
We both could only agree that God had the whole thing under control and had saved that seat just for me. What a great way to start a morning!