When we told our oldest son, Will, back in April, that he could go back to the US for the summer, it seemed like a long way off. But before we knew it, school was over, and it was time to take him to the airport. We had hoped we could find a family that would be on the same plane as he was, since it was the first time he was traveling on a plane alone. But although there is a mass exodus of teachers and missionary families that heads back to the US for the summer or for a longer furlough as soon as school lets out, we weren’t able to find anyone traveling on the same day, on the same airline. So we were surprised and pleased to see a family we knew arriving at the airport the same time we did on Tuesday night. Apparently their first flight was cancelled, and they were put on Will’s flight instead. Their son is just a year younger than Will, so I’m sure that made the wait in the airport a little less boring, and we were just really glad to know there were adults that Will knew on his flight with him.
Both of Will’s flights – from Dakar to Paris and from Paris to Boston – went smoothly. He emailed us from a kiosk in Paris, so we knew he had made it that far safely. His second flight was scheduled to arrive in Boston just after 3 PM. We had the flight status page up and were refreshing the page frequently right around the time he was supposed to land. At one point I checked my email and there was a message from my sister Janice (who was picking Will up at Logan) reporting “The Eagle Has Landed!” She was on her way into the airport and actually saw Will’s plane land. Seconds later the flight status page also reported that the plane had landed. It was really amazing to me, that all the way over here in Senegal, I could know – not only from reading online, but through an eyewitness report – that Will’s plane had landed, within 60 seconds of it touching down!
Janice called me almost an hour later to say that she hadn’t seen Will yet – retrieving his luggage and going through customs takes time – but as we were talking she suddenly cried out – “Oh – I didn’t even recognize him! He’s standing here right in front of me!” It was so much fun to have the chance to talk to him right after he landed – we put the call on speaker phone and we all got to hear his excitement at arriving in Massachusetts. He had already purchased a Boston Creme Donut and a muffin at Dunkin Donuts! The next stop was the Natick Mall, where he was able to purchase a cell phone to use during the summer.
Since he arrived we’ve spoken to him several times and all is going really well. He is so happy to be in Franklin again. He was able to go to graduation at the Charter school he attended for many years, and saw lots of his old teachers and friends there. Our friend Lori took him to lunch at Isabella’s – his favorite sub place. This weekend my sister Wendi and her family, plus my niece Kate and her boyfriend, drove out from New York State to spend the weekend with him. He’s having a ball! Thanks so much for your prayers for his safe arrival in the States. Please continue to pray for him as you think of him – that his summer will be fun and meaningful, and safe!