On some journeys, the unexpected happens. There is a glitch and whatever was planned doesn't happen in quite the same way as the paper itinerary says it will.
I was stuck in the airport in Tripoli for eight hours waiting for a plane in a group of about 80 people (the largest group I think I've ever toured with, or ever will for that matter!). Other groups were waiting for the plane. Libya was crammed with tourists on that March day. It was open for the first time in years to Americans and then suddenly just before our trip closed for Americans (the US had denied a visa to a member of Gaddfi's extended family) except for those going to view the total eclipse of the sun in the Libyan desert. The plane we were to be on was full. The airport was crammed with travelers and smoke, smoke, more smoke. We didn't want to leave the area, for fear we would not hear the boarding call (not in English). And so we sat for eight hours. We finally boarded the plane. We were on our way to Appolonia. And then we had the longest landing pattern I had ever experienced. As we landed in the dark (the airport didn't have landing lights), I noticed all the emergency trucks ringing the runway. I assumed they were there to provide light to the pilot. As it turned out, they were not. The winds were awful that night and the pilot were hoping to find a break in the winds so we could land. If we could not land there, we would have gone to Bengazi to land, but there were no hotel rooms availabe in Bengazi, so we were fortunate.
We then had the joy of finding our luggage in the dark. Another disadvantage for black or navy bags. We boarded our bus to travel to the hotel. Which broke down just around a curve. So, the other bus carrying half our tour went on to the hotel and then about 40 minutes later returned for us. We switched out luggage and then boarded the bus. We arrived very late and were told to eat. Which we did. We finally found our room. Not knowing what the next night would bring, and the following two nights after that would be on the Libyan desert in tents (in a country with almost no tourist infrastructure), we decided to charge our electronic devices. Two camera battery chargers, one laptop, two MP3 players, and at least one electronic toothbrush. As the last device was plugged in, we saw a flash of light. The room went dark. The entire floor went dark.
The next morning we delayed our departure to explore Appollonia. The ruins were right next to the hotel. The advantage of no tourist infrastructure is that there are no ropes around the ruins. Those most of us avoided climbing over the ruins. It was wonderful to be able to get close. Then we drove to Cyrene. Up into the green hills. Cyrene was beautiful. I was walking in the city that the man who carried Christ's cross was from. And remembered how the chaplain at seminary had told us that Simon was a black African. I had grown up Presbyterian, read lots of Bible studies, liberation theology, commentaries, but never knew that.
My current journey hit an unexpected bump. I had chemo yesterday. (Three of four done!) They are changing the medication they are giving for low white blood counts. I had been taking a series of shots (three or four). The first cycle, I did not react well--lots of bone pain. The second cycle, they reduced the dose, my white blood counts soared and I only had three shots. I had about 12 really good days out of the 21 in the cycle. So, the new medication I will take on Monday, one shot. It is long acting and has the same potential side effects as what I am taking now. I would rather take something I know than something new. Oh well. They didn't give me a choice. I have a feeling some drug rep convinced the office to switch meds. (I cannot believe the number of drug reps I see go in and out of the building when I'm there. Lots of good looking, young, thin, blonde women. I wonder how that works with women docs. )