Sunday, June 22, 2008

the adventure begins . . . and the trip hasn't even started!

Yep, we are down to the wire! Greg and I leave for our adventure in Alaska this Friday! The cardinal rule of travel and ministry in rural Alaska is: Be Flexible! Even before our trip to the Yukon begins, we are learning the joys of flexibility!

For some reason, I decided to use a seasoned bush pilot to fly us into the village this year. We usually take Frontier Air or Warbelows, but I thought using a real live bush pilot would add to the cultural ambience of our trip. Little did I know how correct this assumption would prove to be . . .

Dan and I have been in contact about our trip since the first of the year. I'd heard rumore (thanks, Barry) that he tended to overbook his services and be a little sketchy on the organizational side of things, so I determined to keep the lines of communication wide open with Dan. And I was feeling pretty confident about things until yesterday . . .

I called Dan to make sure he was good to go with flying us out to the village on Saturday. And then I discovered that the ducks I'd so carefully lined up over the past few months were waddling erractically in random directions.

"Well, I have this pastor friend who needs a ride down to Anchorage on Saturday," Dan informed me. "So I am going to fly him down and hang around until his trip back on Monday. But I haven't forgotten about your team."

How could you forget about us when I call or email you at least once a week? I silently groused.

"So, what's your plan, Dan?" I asked, chanting "be flexible, be flexible" under my breath. I grabbed my computer and googled "Warbelows" before he answered me. I'd get those silly ducks back in a row!

"Well, we can either fly in late Friday night or early Saturday morning," he informed me. "When does your team get in?"

After some discussion, I tentatively opted for the night flight. After I hung up with Dan, I called Warbelows to see if they had seven spots on their Saturday trip to the village and just how much that would cost. They only had six spots on the daily flight and the cost would be about double what Dan charged.

I called the village missionary next and told him our dilemma.

"You should come Friday nightr and bring pizza for the teens," he calmly suggested. They'll be hanging out at the rec center until 11 pm. You'll be heros for sure is you show up with Pizza Hut in hand."

Awesome! I never would have thought of swooping into the village on a Friday night with lukewarm pizza offerings! But God had it planned all along . . .