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Africa Bound!

As I write this, the plane Emily is on should be descending toward Banjul, Gambia. With the time difference, she should arrive mid-afternoon, which makes me as a maybe overprotective dad feel much better. I didn’t much like the thought of her pulling into a 3rd-world airport at night and trying to figure things out (been there, done that, it was scary, even in a group.)

Emily sent a quick note before boarding last night/this morning:

Just wanted to make sure that everyone had my email and such for while I’m gone.  If there are other people who would like read my updates, you can either send them to my blog or you can forward my email and let me know to put them on the list for future emails.  Let me know if you would like me to send you emails to a different address too.

My mailing address will be:

Emily Thornton
c/o WEC International
PO Box 86
Banjul, The Gambia

Please continue to pray.  I will keep putting updated prayer requests on my blog.

You can also email her, but since we’re pretty clueless at this point what kind of Internet access she will have, don’t expect a quick response from her. Last time we spoke with her, she mentioned getting a cell phone or satellite phone for her time there; not sure whether that will work out or not, but we’re hoping!

Keep on praying!


Update: Got word from Emily that she, Sam & Pepper (her car) made it safely to Philadelphia. Thank God for safe travel, guardian angels, and 15 year-old cars that can pull off a 1,400 mile trip with no troubles.

Next stop: Amsterdam (and Bodegraven!)

Emily Edit: Yes, Pepper did wonderful.  No problems and fabulous gas mileage :)

I left Sioux Falls at about 7:30am on the 30th and picked up Sam about 2 1/2 hours later at his house.

On the way, we stopped in Rock Island, IL to see the other Augustana College.

We also drove through Indianapolis.  We drove past the speedway (which is ENORMOUS)

and then proceeded to get very lost.  The signs were not very helpful but our map had good street markings so we eventually got back on track.

We drove through the night and took a shortcut through some Pennsylvania back roads just as it was starting to get light out.  It was amazing!  They had super steep roads and fabulous views.

We arrived at Erin’s (Sam’s gf) house at about 10:30 am (EST).  We had been through 9 states (Sam had only 8 since I picked him up in MN), and had traveled about 1400 miles.  Long, tiring, fun trip and glad we made it safe and sound.

Today, I will be driving to the WEC headquarters to start training tomorrow.  I will try to keep everyone updated as often as I can, but I can’t guarantee that it will happen as often as everybody hopes for.

Emily in Sioux Falls

Right now, Emily is in Sioux Falls, preparing to leave for Gambia. School is done, graduation ceremonies celebrated, and she’s busy saying goodbye to her friends and getting things ready for the trek to the WEC  facility in Pennsylvania. From there she’ll fly to Amsterdam, spend some time with family there, then on to The Gambia. Pray for a clear mind as she readies for the trip, and for safe travel as she goes.