Leaving Rachel this afternoon was one of the most emotional things I've ever done. I don't think she saw me cry, I hope I kept it together enough; but once she was round the corner I was a flood of tears. I'm so pleased that her and Mike went home when they did though, it was time and trying to say bye whilst getting into the bus wouldn't have been easy.
Thanks to the great people I am travelling with I pulled myself together quite quickly and once we were on the way to Heathrow I felt ok. I knew that'd be the case; it's hard to say good bye but once it's done then the excitement of the trip bubbles up.
Seven of us were in our bus (there was a car as well) and we laughed and joked the whole way. Neil just has this knack of knowing how to make people relax and laugh and it was just what we all needed.
Heathrow was unbelievably efficient. I don't know whether it was because I wasn't "in charge" or because we were all feeling chilled but checking in was stress free and even having my bag completely searched was ok: in fact I saw the funny side of it. And the good thing about having to wait an hour to have your bag checked is that there's much less waiting around for the plane; all good.
As we sat at the gate I was overwhelmed with a strong sense of WHAT ARE YOU DOING? But I did a final check of twitter and Facebook and all the amazing messages of support, enthusiasm and prayer helped me get through that.
And so it's the middle of the night and if the map is right we're somewhere over Egypt. I can't sleep and don't really feel comfortable enough to want to so I'm reading my new kindle book and writing. Tomorrow we will arrive in Ndola, tomorrow it really begins. I'll be back then.