JASON & ERIN STEWART

LilypieExpecting a baby Ticker

Monday, August 15, 2005

Roadie 2005

Hello from New Bruinswick!
I am sitting at a public library in St. Stephen, New Bruinswick. We have been travelling through the east states with the intentions of hitting all of the eastern provinces in the next week.
Angie Brohart, my roadtripping partner in crime is joining me along with 2 new friends; Eleana and Tara. So far the trip has been awesome and more details will come, but I do want to leave you with one 'typical Erin' story for your entertainment.

After driving for many hours we all needed to sleep. With no camp grounds in sight we opted to spend the night at a gas station. We parked the truck under the night sky in the back of the gas station parking lot. Tara filled the air mattrice and we climbed into our respective sleeping quarters: Angie in the backseat of the truck, Eleana on some luggage in the cab and Tara and I on the mattrice in the back of the cab. I lay awake for some hours unable to sleep. I had huge paranoia that someone was going to walk away with my big roller suitcase. While I heard phantom noice of the suitcase being taken away I failed to hear the state troupers pull up. Tara explained how we just couldn't drive anymore and they were more than happy to let us stay there. They had actually stopped to let us know it was raining. LOL. Because of the oncoming rain we moved the truck under the canopy of the gas bar and repositioned ourselves. We ALL were on the matrice this time and let me tell you it was one of the most comfortable sleeps of my life! We woke up to the hum of the gas bar and the stares of the gas clerks. Looking as nasty as we did...and the fact that we were sleeping at a gas station must have been an odd sight...haha.

I hope this blog finds you all well.
Peace and Love,
Sperin

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Home sweet home!

I have arrived back home in Canada safely. Shall I entertain you with my traveling stories ... here we go.

Wednesday morning I woke up at 4am and laid in bed till my alarm went off at 4:30am. Morning had come so early! We headed to the airport at 5am and we said our goodbyes. The night before I had to say goodbye to Evelyn, Deborah, Daniel. Not an easy thing to do. And just a note; Goodbye is the biggest oxymoron in the world... byes are never good!
So back to the story I waved goodbye to Jen and Lindsay and was on my adventure home. My flight out left between 7:15 and 7:30am. I was supposed to fly out at 6:30am, I chuckled to myself. The flight to our quick stop in Uganda was hard. I stuggled with the emotions of saying goodbye. When we landed in Uganda and the plane began to fill up, 2 girls from the US sat with me. They were awesome, sent by God! We started talking. They were travelling in a few countries; Kenya, Uganda. They had done missionary work in different countries and we got to talking. Somehow I just felt like I could tlak to them, not sure if it's cause they listened or I could see in their eyes that they actually cared but I could'nt stop talking. It was so awesome. Some more debriefing time.
We arrived in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and started the most frustrating part of my journey. In Addis, I had a scheduled 12 hour layover. They seperate you into groups according to your destination. Last time it took about 30-45 minutes. This time we didn't leave the airport until 4 hours after being seperated into our groups. At this point I am laughing and doing ok. Hanging out with my new airport friends was fun. When we got to the hotel and got our rooms I was feeling pretty tired. I went into my room and started putting my bag down and getting ready to relax. Suddenly I heard a noice from the bathroom. "Hello" I said, "oh is this your room?" came the response. "Yeah, it is". There was a guy in my room, using my bathroom. And stinking up the place...seriously nasty.
Finally I was alone in my room and very ready for sleep. I crawl into bed and laid there...and laid there...and laid there. 6 hours at that hotel and not a minute of sleep. Frustrated I jumped onto the bus very tired. We were back at the airport at around 9:30pm. My flight was supposed to leave at 11:30pm so I was thinking I still had plenty of time. I caught up with my new friends again and hung out until my flight was called to board at 10:30pm. Thinking my flight left at 11:30pm I said goodbye to my friends and went into the boarding room. I was thinking things were a little odd when the plane was nowhere in sight at 11:15pm. By 11:30 my curiousity had turned into irratation, there was no plane around and even the flight crew was just waiting around. 12:30pm no plane, 1:30 no plane, 1:45 plane arrives and passengers and cargo are being unloaded. By 2:00am we are finally boarding the plane.
When I arrived in Ethiopia I was 22...when I left I was 23! Yep my birthday started in Ethiopia.
Now I know that being tired may have been a factor but truthfully I was just down right grumpy and that's how I wanted to be. The guy sitting in front of my didn't help the situation or my mood. I was feeling so squished and uncomfortable. I tried so hard to sleep and I was so exhausted but I just couldn't do it. I finally gave up and just watched movies for the rest of the flight.
Because of the delay in Ethiopia we landed late in Frankfurt. My big plan and birthday present to myself was to shower in Germany. But due to the delay I didn't have enough time and ended up just changing clothes and
washing my face, not exactly the clean feeling I was looking for. Tired but excited I found my way to my Air Canada boarding gate. While in line I chatted it up with a guy from Vancouver. He told me about the Air France crash and a few other air accidents. And as we were boarding the plane to go to Toronto they were actually showing the crash. My new friend and I look at each other and laughed, great timing.
At this point I still haven't slept but the excitement and adrenoline is pumping and I am ready to get home. Once again I got a window seat, infact every flight to and from Rwanda was a window seat, which was good.
Anyways the guy sitting next to me guards American Diplomates and has spent the last 3 months in Iraq. It was awesome to sit and chat with him about his experiences all over the world and recently in Iraq. While the flight was long chatting with him made it seem so much shorter.
So thursday August 4th at 1:30pm I arrived back in my home and native land. My Aunt Eunice was to pick me up but my parents also arrived to surprise me. We went out for dinner and then Dairy Queen for dessert. By 9:00pm I was sacked and ready to sleep. After 48 hours of being awake I was finally able to crawl into a nice comfy bed and get some much needed sleep.
The past few days I have been chatting up with friends and family and I must say that I love seeing everyone again.
On friday I head out east with Angie Brohart for a 9 day road trip, then I am at Galilean for a week, then ABK then school starts...nothing like taking it easy.

I promise to have more about Rwanda and the culture shock I experience. So far so good but we'll see how things go. Thank you once again for all your supports. Your prayers have been my lifeline in Rwanda and have toughed my heart deeply. I can never thank you enough for your kindness and thoughtfullness. You have blessed me more than you can possible imagine. So for that, I thank you.

With so much love,
Erin

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Leav'n on a jet plane...actually 3 jet planes

Today is my last day in Rwanda. It's hard to believe that I will be back in Canada so soon. Yesterday was an extremely emotional day for me and even as I sit here recalling the events I am struggling to keep the tears at bay. I had to say goodbye to Serge and Jules yesterday. 2 guys who have become like brothers to me. I cried like a wee baby. Tonight will be yet another crying night as I say goodbye to Evelyn and the kids...bad news...get the kleenex out! Evelyn, Deborah and Daniel have become family for me. I am dreading saying goodbye. Then tomorrow morning I have to say goodbye to Jen and Lindsay. Man the poor person sitting next to me on the plane...I pity the fool!:)
The shining light on the situation is that I am going home to loving friends and family who I know we welcome me with open arms.

So I guess this is it from Rwanda. Hopefully I can blog in Ethiopia during my 12 hour layover. I feel like this is somewhat reserved but I really am at a loss for words. Please pray for me as I travel and as I readjust to life in Canada. I pray you will be patient with me as I try to process all the things I have seen and experienced here.

Please know that every person I have impacted here is someone you have impacted. By the love and support you've shown me, you have touched these people too! God bless you. Stay safe until we met again.

Love, Erin

p.s. sorry bout the confusion Ed...my birthday is on Thursday August 4. Yep travelling on my birthday alone, BUT because of time change it will be a 30 hour long birthday and I arrive home on my birthday too. Don't worry, I will also be accepting late birthday gifts;) LOL.

"The LORD your God is with you,
he is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
he will quiet you with his love,
he will rejoice over you with singing."

~Zephaniah 3:17

Monday, August 01, 2005

Gisenyi

Gisenyi was great! Man I haven’t been so relaxed in a long time. We headed out for Gisenyi on Friday at around lunch. The Bus was not too bad and the view was gorgeous! I always pictured africa as this hot dry barron dessert place. Well its hot and dry Rwanda is all hill and beauty. It’s a beautiful country.
We arrived in Gisenyi just before dark, and met up with Serge’s brother Chris for dinner. I had pizza and it was really good. We went back to the hotel and headed to bed. Our hotel, the Palm Beach, was right on the beach and as I lay in bed I could hear the sound of the waves crashing against the beach. It brought me back to my summers at Galilean. That sound is such a beautiful and peacefull sound!
Later that night I was woken up by a loud crack, and I heard a sound I had heard before but for the life of me I couldn’t figure out what it was. That strange wonderful sound was the sound of RAIN hitting the roof. IT RAINED!!! I just layed in bed listening to it. Unfortunately it still hasn’t rained here in Kigali, but because Gisenyi is on Lake Kivu it gets more rain, and is a bit cooler.
The next morning we went for a walk. We headed towards the Congo border and could see Goma, the bordering Congo city from where we were standing. It was pretty cool.
We spent saturday at the Kivu Sun, a hotel with a nice pool. I felt like a kid playing in the water. And I was smart about the sun. I didn't get burned...actually I didn't get any colour...my legs are still sickly white...please don't make too much fun, well it is really funny so I guess you can laugh it up!
We finally left the pool at about 6:30pm and headed back to our hotel (which was literally a 2 minute walk). Chris joined us again and we played some games, ate some dinner, and I broke a chair(quite an embarassing/really hilarious moment which I do not want to talk about at the present time), then went to bed.
Sunday Lindsay and I headed to the pool again for a few more swims. Jen and Deb joined us after and then we headed for the bus to leave for 3:30pm. The bus back was a little pack but not too bad. We arrived safely back in Kigali are 6:30pm and after dinner were in bed around 10ish. It was such an awesome, refreshing weekend!

Jason Dunbar gets a very special mention today in the blog. That's right, that awesome guy sent me not only a sweet letter, but he also got friends from camp to write me notes and sent those along too. I was really touched and encouraged by his thoughtfullness.
Thanks so much Jay, that meant so much to me! You're awesome!!!

So 2 full days left in Rwanda and as I prepare for more goodbyes, I also know that there are open arms and many hellos waiting for me in Canada. As I read the comments today I teared up. Aiden I am counting my sleeps too! And I can't wait to see you boys, I miss you so much!

Well I will do internet one more time here in Rwanda and I hear that Ethiopia has internet at the airport (I have a 12 hour layover so that might waste sometime). So keep reading and comment. I will not stop blogging after I am done here. I will let you know of my transition back to Canada and adventures as I go home. So stay posted.

I love you all so much and I am so looking forward to seeing you again. Please remember me as I will be saying many goodbyes in the next 2 days.

With much love,
Erin