Some random stuff from our time in France. Writing it down so I don't forget.
+ With 11 people, logistics like airport security or public transport can be tricky. This year, our plan was that I walk through security with Deanna [because of her insulin and her pump] and everyone else goes between Hope and Tessa. If anyone has extended time with security, Tess stays with them. Worked great.
+ Most of our travel through airports was fine and this is an issue because Deanna wears an insulin pump and travels with backup insulin in various forms as well as traveling with a backup pump. Coming back through Heathrow was the worst though. She has a great system for this though and each time, we learn a little more. But the people at Heathrow were just jerks.
+ Emily was not feeling well for most of the time we were in France. She had nasal congestion, a sore throat and her ears were clogged. We took her to a doctor on the last Saturday we were in Aix. Someone told us about a doctor that speaks English but you had to mention that you were the friend of so and so to get an appointment. Going to the doctor is definitely a fantastic cultural experience, so you should try it. Emily actually had blood drawn for the first time ever, in another country. And… she tested positive for mono. I can't believe how much she worked while having mono.
+ One night at dinner, our team of 14, ate 6 baguettes. Does that seem like a lot?
+ Our lodging costs averaged out to be about $52 per person per night. The villa was $46, the hostel in Sanary sur mer was $52 and the Holiday Inn MRS airport was $58. Don't get me wrong, the south of France is incredibly expensive. We were fortunate to do it very cheaply.
+ Les Baux was incredible. Bandol was amazing too. Pictures don't do either of them justice. They were both very worthwhile to visit. I know some people saw our pictures and thought, 'Wow rough missions trip...' But I won't apologize for that - my job was to value our team and the incredible work they did. Decompression on the beach on the Mediterranean Sea is part of it and you would be super dumb for not taking advantage of that.
+ In our whole time, we did not see any other evangelical faith based groups of people there. No youth groups, mission teams, handbell choirs. Not one. But we did see Mormons and Jehovahs Witnesses.
+ This year in Aix, I actually felt like I knew where I was going. That was interesting to me, especially as you hear people talk about their first year in a foreign city.