As soon as I got to the airport the other night to leave Australia, I knew I'd made a huge mistake. It was ridiculous and freaking me out and I bit back tears standing in line at Qatar Airways with unfamiliar people.
What am I doing??! Did I think I was a superhero?
I got on the plane and flew to Qatar anyway - may as well. I could not point Qatar out to you on a map. No idea. Filling out the customs form beforehand, I had to google if my destination country was Qatar or Doha. I'm not crash hot at geography ... or many other learned topics, really. But matters of the heart? PHD right there. Every time I saw a kid I had to glaze my eyes, to avoid the pang of thinking about my own.
Crashed out on the plane to Qatar, awoken intermittently by the sound of babies crying. Loudly. I could not care at all, for they were not my babies to placate. I mentally sent the mothers some, it's ok! Babies are allowed to cry on planes vibes, then fell back asleep again.
Doha, Qatar. Or Qatar, Doha. One of the two.
The flight to Doha was 14 hours, and the one to Paris was 7 hours. I watched Twilight and Mission Impossible Four and read Russell Brand's Booky Wook 2 and as I get closer to my destination, the enormity of what I'm doing comes creeping into my head. It's a long way from Australia. I'm writing this on a bus through Paris - apparently my flight to Casablanca leaves from ORLY airport and not Charles De Gaulle. I hope I make it.
Paris seems cosmopolitan and sophisticated and I've hardly seen it. As I ordered a coffee and cream bun, an old homeless dude comes up and started talking to me in French. I said hey man, do you speak English? He replied, "Yes. I will have a Pepsi and a coco tart."
So I bought him a Pepsi and a coco tart.
It's a scientific fact that chin hairs grow quicker on airplanes.
I'm winging this whole trip. Flying by the seat of my pants has always been my speciality. This is so not even about me. I am all white western mothers right now. Over in Niamey I'll meet a Korean and a German mumblogger. Together writing about what we see.
I wonder what we'll see. When I start writing my posts I need a call to arms, especially through media channels. The French lady next to me on the plane asked where I am going and when I answered Niger, she winced.
"Ohh, it is very bad there right now."
I nodded, knowingly. But I don't really know. Yet.
You tell me to protect my heart and I will - I'm very clear on not coming back home broken. If I can't find any Hope, I will leave some of my own there.
I hope to blog once a day, maybe even twice. I'm only gone for a week, so need to capitalise on the time where I can. I'm pretty tired and wired. But I have clean underwear on. Watching the bare trees go by as we drive through France is amazing.
The world is smaller than we think.
UPDATE: I MADE THE PLANE. Two shuttles, a bus, copious running, a kind stewardess who went right out of her way. And praying to the powers of Greyskull. Am sweaty, uncosmopolitan mess. Casablanca next stop. Dave I had to use your Visa card to buy a bus ticket - sorry hon. Accidentally spent my money on Pepsi for French hobos xx