This is the last post concerning our trip. Thank you for going on this adventure with us. I received so much encouragement about my writing. Rob learned many skills in trip planning. He set the itinerary and I wrote about it. We felt your prayers throughout the trip and were often just ahead of trouble. Thank you for your care and concern.
Even though our trip was cut short and wasn’t what we had planned, it’s good to be home. We are Americans!!
What Did We Learn?
We learned so much about God’s glorious creation and even moreso about ourselves and how we fit into His plan for the world and how we fit into it.
We learned our planet is sick and needs tender loving care in many ways. Ironically, this world shutdown due to the pandemic has had unforeseen consequences of healing. Pollution is down, animals are reclaiming habitat, etc. It is like humans are in time out!!
We learned different words, customs, and made many friends along the way.
We learned how to use our cell phones for EVERYTHING!
We learned that the world is big. We visited many countries yet realize that there are so many more to see. It’s true: the more that you learn, the more that you know that you don’t know.
We learned that the world is small. We met people who knew people that we knew.
We learned same same but different. People all over the world are doing the same things that people in the USA are doing – working, raising children, weddings, births, deaths, work, childrearing. What breaks your heart breaks their hearts. They are not so different.
Time to Go
The airport in Sydney was packed. The students at the universities have been asked to go home for at least 10 days. That has likely been extended.
I watched so many movies that my ear phones hurt my ears. I didn’t sleep but did not feel bad either.
Houston, There’s No Problem
We were surprised that we were not vetted at the border. In fact, there was no mention of the virus. The only thing that was blasting over the intercom was the usual warning to not leave your bag unattended.
Same goes for Cincinnati. We got off the plane and picked up our bags. Check out this 1910 Model K Runabout that converted a horse-drawn carriage to an engined buggy. Only 8,000 were made between 1905-1913.
We should have taken an Uber. A crowded bus is the last place we should be.
Here is our home for the foreseeable future. Amy is so kind to welcome us to her one bedroom apartment. Our state is on a Stay at Home order.
Pouring rain and a flash flood warning had been issued, then the tornado sirens went off and we sought shelter in this underground parking garage.
We are trying to be good house guests and are in charge of meal preparation. I make the mess and Rob cleans it up. Amy lives two blocks from the grocery store. The downtown store is well stocked with a small crowd. The suburban stores are crowded and chaotic with lots of empty shelves.
She works for a tech company which has decided that their workforce is to work remotely so this is the office of today.
What We Will Do Now?
- We will abide by this stay at home order and minimize our travel. (Boy, is this a departure from the last year where we walked about 10 miles per day. In fact, our Fitbit is barking at us.)
- Move to our apartment along the boardwalk in Virginia Beach.
- Buy a car that will likely be the last car that we purchase.
The two most asked questions are where was your favorite place and your least favorite place. Those are so hard to answer so we came up with a short list of superlatives. I am sure that we left out many.
Walking Miles: 2,563 miles
Climbed: 103,600 feet
The tallest mountain in the world is Mt Everest at 29,029 feet. So we climbed that mountain 3½ times. Rob loves climbing so this number doesn’t surprise me. There were times that I would have used an oxygen supplement.
I would like to note that what goes up comes down. All this climbing took a toll on my knees while descending.
Best View: Wengen, Switzerland
Best Dessert: Portuguese Egg Tart, Balem, Portugal
Longest Walk: Great Ocean Walk, Victoria, Australia
Squeakiest Bed: The Penguin, Faro, Portugal
Stormiest Weather: Dubrovnik, Croatia
Most Traffic: Hanoi, Vietnam
Worst Bed Linens: Turkey
Best Hotel: The Reverie, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Hardest Climb: The Rock of Gibraltar
Snowiest: Top of Europe, Jungfrau, Switzerland
Hottest: Wadi Rum, Jordan
Friendliest: Guggisberg, Switzerland
Sickest: Hanoi, Vietnam (Brenda), Plain of Jars, Laos (Rob)
Worst Colds: Nam Nern, Laos
Most Flies: Uluru, Northern Australia, Australia
Greatest Trip Interruption: Tropical Storm Gretel, The Ghan, Central Australia
Best Private Tour Guide: Ertunga, Turkey
Best Group Tour Guide: Law, Vietnam
Best Sunset: Tonle Sap, Cambodia
Worse Toilet: Train to Montenegro
Worst Day Tour Guide: Dan, Bucharest, Romania
Best Day Tour Guide: San Sebastian
Best Breakfast Buffet: The Reverie, Ho Chi Minh City
Best Outdoor Swimming Pool: The Reverie, Ho Chi Minh City
Best Indoor Pool: Intercontinental, Kiev, Ukraine
Best Steak: Wroclaw, Poland
Worst Rain: Geneva, Switzerland
Most chaotic airport: Uluru, Northern Australia, Australia
Most Relaxing Place: Aqaba, Jordan
Best City App: Wroclaw, Poland
Most Depressing Place: Berlin, Germany
Biggest Party: Feria in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain
Greatest Impact: Teaching English for two weeks at English for Everyone, Luang Prubang, Laos
My father, Stewart Boone, is still having major health challenges. It is hard for me and the rest of the family since we cannot see him or be with him physically. He recently fell. He checked out fine at the hospital but he had a temperature of 101°F due to an advanced UTI and was admitted. He received IV antibiotics. His blood pressure was dangerously low.
We were glad that he was able to receive medical care yet are concerned about any possible hospital exposure to the coronavirus.
He does not understand why I am not able to visit him. He has improved and is now on oral antibiotics. He returns home soon where he is under good care. He will be quarantined for 5 days. He lives on the first floor so I am able to window visit. We Skype since his hearing aids don’t work and he can read my lips.
Please pray that his health stabilizes and that he is miraculously covered by the care that only God our Provider offers during this COVID-19 outbreak. Selfishly, for me, I want to be in his physical presence once again and give him a big bear hug.
Our daughter, Donna Street, is settling in to motherhood. Her hormones have leveled off and her post partum depression is under control with medication and online and in person support.
We talk most every day. Continue to pray for her depression and that God will help ease her anxiety during these challenges.
Donna has much to be thankful and her baby, Lumillie which is her Australian name, is thriving.
Here is an update from Donna herself:
Lucy is growing up so fast. She is two months old! She has been starting to smile and show her personality more with every day. She loves taking baths and spending time with Nathan, laughing at his jokes. She is eating well and sleeping well about 6-8 hours overnight most nights. My mental health has improved rapidly with new medication for my anxiety and with more experience as a parent. Sleep has also been a major factor in my healing. Thank you for your prayers for my healing. God has had his hand in this journey.
Our granddaughter, Lucy Miller, is growing up so quickly. I would love to see her as well. She will likely be in online kindergarten before I see her again.
Her parents are understandably cautious at this time as we all are.
We are considering a family dance off through Skype. Here is Lucy’s submission that you can watch on YouTube:
It looks like winner to me. I will try not to be biased.
Isn’t it wonderful to live in a time such as this? We have so many ways to stay connected.
I encourage all of you to pray for our world, our leaders and everyone everywhere as we are all in this together with daily challenges.
Thanks again for reading my words and viewing my pictures. If this COVID-19 order becomes a long term thing, I may resurrect this blog…with a different purpose.
Love and hugs to all. Remember that God is in the restoration business. Amen.