This is it. After nearly six months of anticipation, the morning we have all been waiting for has finally arrived.   I lay tucked into my warm bed, savoring my last few precious moments of sleep. Finally, I give into the pressure of time. Soon we will be on our way, our plane departs in exactly five hours and forty minutes. I frantically run through my room. What am I forgetting? I look at the time, we need to leave. As my family loads our bags, my excitement builds.

                5:30 am, we arrive at Weimar Academy. I am greeted by familiar faces, and soon the room is buzzing with a dozen different conversations. Before I realize the time, we are already loaded onto the bus, and on our way to San Francisco. Three hours left. We arrive at the airport right on time.  Everything is set. We are ready to go. As I go to check in my bags, I see there is no one behind the desks. We wait. Time goes by, two hours left. Finally, two women appear, and we begin checking in our baggage. Time drags by as we begin to gather our boarding passes. One hour left. Stress begins to build as we all watch the time ticking down on the clocks surrounding us. Twenty minutes. My heart is racing. We are going to miss our flight. Finally, I get my boarding passes, and we begin running down the halls to airport security. We are soon faced with a sea of travelers. Seven minutes left. I am sent through pre-check and am soon on the other side of the great sea of people. Four minutes left. I gather my belongings and run. Soon we hear our names being called out on the speakers, we aren’t going to make it. Two minutes left. As we round the corner, I see our gate number.  I run up to the desk and hand the lady there my boarding pass, she laughs at me, and we all board the plane on time. It truly is a miracle. Tokyo Japan, here we come.

                The flight was long, but soon we are standing on Japanese soil. The layover is short, so we are quickly boarding our second flight to the Philippines.  This flight is rather long, but I find myself sleeping most of the way. I am soon jerked awake by the rough landing of the plane. Finally, halfway there. Manila greets us with an interesting complication. Our luggage was sent to be claimed, and rechecked, leaving us with less than an hour before our flight to Guam was scheduled to board. To make a long story short, we didn’t make it through customs in time, and we wound up missing our flight. The airport lobby became our home for the next twenty-four hours. Surprisingly, most of us slept quite well. The next day was filled with many adventures. We got a chance to go explore the Filipino culture, and go on quite the exhilarating bus ride.  After a long afternoon bustling around the city, we made our way back to the airport once again. Finally, we get our bags checked and head towards security.

                Due to our changed flight schedule, we were able to bypass our layover in Guam. We find our way to our new gate number, and wait to board. Soon, I drift off to sleep. I am awakened by the voice of a loud speaker and the calling of my friends nearby. Within minutes, we are seated and headed towards our final destination. Palau- we are almost there. The flight is relatively long, but due to my exhaustion, it passes extremely quickly. Finally, our landing gear settles on the island of Palau. At last, we are here.

                We land at 2:00 am, so my mind is foggy as I try to gather all of my bags. Customs takes some time, but soon I find myself loaded onto a large red van. The island is beautiful, even though all I can see is the few feet in front of the van lit by the headlights.  We cross a bridge and venture onto one of the smaller islands. It isn’t long until we arrive at our new home. We rush our belongings into the apartment and find our rooms. Excitement fills the air as we think about what God is going to do through us here in Palau. Finally, I drift off to sleep. This is going to be an incredible experience.

-Tiffany Fisher, Junior