I had a whole blog written but after an hour of trying to copy and paste it here with my phone, and failing, I will write a short recap.
I left New York a week ago, and though the trip started with my flight delayed over fifteen hours, I’m having a great time! It was not an omen I am happy to report. Friends insisted on collecting me at the airport in Amsterdam even though I arrived at four in the morning. That was a bit above and beyond I thought, but there they were waving and smiling at arrivals and I was a happy traveler. I’d missed the family dinner they’d planned the evening before but I still managed to see everyone, it only meant a night in Eindhoven in addition to Delden. I saw more of the country than planned but it was great to see these kids I’d delivered over twenty years ago, grown up and successful and welcoming. I felt like a princess.
On Wednesday I took a train to Ghent in Belgium to visit friends from Congo ( who feature in my book) and got the princess treatment there as well. Wined and dined and driven around in style to Christmas concert, Christmas market, charity race, night on a houseboat…way more than I expected! Then, since they couldn’t drive me to the airport, insisted on buying my train ticket and dropped me practically on the platform. I am so lucky to have such friends in my life. We talked about how working together there created a very unique bond between us. One of the many blessings from that experience.
From there I flew to Catania, Sicily where my son was waiting for me. I thought I’d take a train but then looked at a map. Sicily is a lot further from Belgium than I thought! He’d Rented a car and we drive an hour to Syracuse where he booked an apartment in this ancient city. We are planning to explore Greek ruins and volcanoes and eat good food. I’ll learn more history which always helps me put things in perspective.
I had some great conversations over good meals about Europeans‘ views of the drama unfolding in our country. It’s heartening to hear the support and satisfying for me to have an audience to spout my views. The news coverage here isn’t as in depth as it is at home and I love seeing how eager they are for details. They definitely feel tied to our well being and pray, as I do, the arc is curving more toward justice.
Happy Solstice! Merry Christmas!
Love to all,