The Trip Home

Wednesday, August 04, 2021
Accra, Greater Accra Region, Ghana
After breakfast this morning I came back to my room for a bit, waiting for the email from the clinic telling me my results from the COVID test were done and ready. No email came, and there is no good way to reach anyone at the clinic itself. Email only reaches a central office that communicates for all their clinics around Accra. So I need to go over.
Uber has arrived in Ghana, at least in major cities, and is quick, easy and less expensive than the normal taxis. So I called up an Uber, and in less than 2 minutes he pulled up. Short trip over to the clinic.
I entered and went up to the desk where an older white man was also waiting. The man behind the desk motioned me up and I told him what I wanted. He found my certificate right away, and I was ready to go. I asked the other man if he was waiting for the same thing. With a strong British accent he told me he got his, but they had him listed as a woman – and he does not look the slightest bit feminine! The airline will not accept it that way, so he was having to wait for them to reprint it for him. I don’t know what time his flight is, but I wish him well with getting this sorted out.
Another quick Uber ride back to the hotel, and I now have everything I need for my trip beginning this evening. I even got an email from Delta telling me I’ve been given a free upgrade to Comfort + seating. I appreciate that very much, because it means more room, and a greater level of recline for the long overnight trip to New York. It was so expensive I decided I didn’t want to pay for it when I bought my tickets, and instead would request a free upgrade and see if I could get one with my frequent flyer status. I was awarded them all the way over, and since the flights are not full right now I suppose I stand a decent chance of getting them on the way back too.
My flight is in the evening, so I asked for a late check-out. Unless they are full and have someone coming right in to that room that night, they will usually accommodate me. This time, with traffic in the hotel so low, they allowed me to stay in the room until 7 pm, when I needed to go to the airport! That was extremely helpful, as I was able to spend all afternoon working in my room without interruptions or distractions!
Check-in at the airport was actually not much different from normal. Two people did ask about the COVID test, and I had the document. I also had to fill out an attestation form for Delta online before I went to the airport. Other than that, it was normal, and pretty smooth. On the flight over to New York I was able to catch some decent sleep – probably 5 – 6 hours total. We touched down a bit early, landing about 4:30 am local time.
I had nearly 3 hours before my connecting flight, so I made my way without haste down to the shuttle bus that would take me to the correct terminal, and lazily strolled down to my gate. The flight over had a problem with their hot water, so there was no coffee or tea. There was a donut shop right beside my gate, so I got a coffee and a large cinnamon roll, and sat down to read.
The flight down to Atlanta was full, and they were calling for volunteers to give up their seats and get booked on a later flight. Because of my close connection in Atlanta, and being unsure when the next flight into Fayetteville would be, I didn’t volunteer. Initially they were offering $500, then $800 and finally $1000 for anyone to give up their seat. I was waiting for them to offer a new truck, then I’d have been there! They also announced several times that there would not be enough room for all the roller boards, and asked if they could check then through to the final destination. Since I only have a backpack, I’ll keep mine, but I knew loading was going to be a challenge.
I’d been bumped up to 1st class, so I boarded right away, and then watched while way too many people with way too much luggage tried to get on. About 20 minutes after we were supposed to leave, the boarding doors closed, and a few minutes later we were pushed back by the tug. And then we sat for another 20 minutes.
Finally, the captain came on and said there was some confusion at the gate about who we actually had on the plane, and we were being towed back up to the gate. That’s a bit odd, and a little disconcerting. Everyone’s boarding pass was scanned, and they have lists, so how could they not be sure who was on? Several officials came on the plane, and while I couldn’t see what happened because it was toward the back of the plane, they apparently were satisfied, and we were allowed to proceed. So 1 hour and 15 minutes after our scheduled departure we finally left the ground.
I had a couple of house in Atlanta, but that was now cut down to just 45 minutes before my last fight. But the Atlanta airport is one of the best laid out (in my opinion) and I was easily able to make it to my gate with time to spare … only to find they’d made a last-minute change, and my new gate was at the exact opposite end of this terminal! No problem, I needed the exercise anyway, and still made it with time to spare.
We landed in Fayetteville a few minutes early, just short of 2:30 pm. My lovely bride pulled up about the time I was collecting my bag. Hugs and kisses later, and a punch in the shoulder for my grandson, and we were on the way back home!
I’ve received a number of comments about prayers for the safety and success of this trip. I thank each of you for that, and believe God did indeed answer those prayers! So until next time…

Photos & Videos


Joel Meeker

Welcome home!

Jason H

So glad to hear. I was praying for you along the way and enjoyed the news of our brethren there.

Kathy Treybig

We're always happy to hear when you men have arrived home safely. Have a wonderful Sabbath!

Dave Myers

Thanks for making the trip to serve the brethren and the pastors there, Tom!

Tess Washington

Welcome back Mr. Clark! Glad you made it home safely with your wife! You gave me a few to laugh about on this blog! Happy Sabbath!