Sunday, August 06, 2006

Sunday Aug 6 - Day 12

We landed in Paris early this morning. A good flight out of Cameroon, mostly ontime. Our bags also made it here with us - 12 people with 23 bags. Amazing. Our hotel is great, we arrive via the airport shuttle around 10am and our 3 rooms are ready. The weather is a bit overcast, but shortly clears up and ends up being an absolutely gorgeous day here.

I am still sick. At certain times, my stomach explodes. It makes for a lot of fun in the airport. I send the team into the city with the other massively capable four leaders. GM leaves me his phone since both his and LBs work here in Europe. I sleep. And sleep. And sleep.

I awake in the early afternoon , deciding that I don't want to waste any more time. On the train into the city, I text LB saying "Im on the way in to meet you." As soon as the message gets sent, the phone dies - low battery. Interesting. I just spent a week in Africa, I'm sure I can figure out how to meet my team in Paris.

As if a week in Africa wasn't enough of an adventure, I'm having one of my own this afternoon. I'm almost 40 years old. I live a life of predictability. No one else on earth knows exactly where I am right now. I am traversing through one of the worlds greatest cities and I don't know a bit of the language here. I love it.

I pop out of the Cluny subway station and am amazed at my first real sights of the city. The slow pace of life, the community of outdoor cafes, the beauty of the city scapes - so cool. I grab a banana and a bottle of water and just walk for blocks. Finally, I decide that I should figure out how to reach the rest of the team.

I hop into an internet cafe - my first real computer time this whole trip. After a little while, D and I google chat - it's great to communicate in real time even if not over the phone. Eventually, LB and I text via her phone and my email account. I get directions and go.

The team has been having a debriefing and reentry discussion for the past three hours. From all accounts, it has been intense. The environment for it has been great - a neutral location, not at home and not near our ministry locations; a beautiful day; no distractions of family, work or school; and the venue being right underneath the Eiffel Tower. Perfect.

After I meet up with them, we take in more sights - the Arc de Triomphe, dinner in a neighborhood near the Bastille, souvenir shopping near Notre Dame. We arrive back at the hotel a bit later than we had wanted, but it was a perfect day.

Tomorrow, we arrive home.

Photos: Notre Dame, Emilie and I, the team.

20060726Cameroon photoset

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