I will admit, I was nervous. Very nervous.
My family, my brother, sister-in-law, and my nieces were due into town in a couple of hours, and I was contemplating what could possibly go wrong. I will admit, the planning had not been smooth, my style and my brother’s style of planning vacations, especially a vacation like this – one that would mark their first stop outside of the United States, was probably a little nerve wracking for them.
They had anxiously gotten their passports months ago, they had carefully booked their flights to Australia, they carefully weighed their luggage and prepared to set off into the bright blue yonder.
My nieces admitted to being nervous. My Dad, their Grandfather, didn’t help things when one of them asked him, “What happens if the plane crashes?”
And he replied, “You probably won’t even know when it happens.”
I think that Dad laughed heartily. Tom, Mary, Abby and Sarah laughed a little nervously.
But one way or another, by hook or by crook, they were winging their way across the south Pacific, past Hawaii and Fiji, on their way to Sydney, then down to Melbourne.
I will admit, I wanted them to see the positive side of Australia. I had been telling stories of the glories of the country, the flora and fauna, and above all else, the people. This would be the first test of my honesty.
And while I have been honest, there is also no doubt that things are, well, different. The roads are different, the cars are different, the food is different, the language (while still English…the Australian’s would argue American’s haven’t spoken English in years), the way of life is different, the culture, the fabric of society is very different.
But I hoped that they would be able to see that despite all of those differences, the same basic goodness of people, the same basic values of humans, the genuineness of the people still reigned supreme.
But I was nervous…it is easy to get bogged down in the differences.
I hurriedly prepared their apartment (loaned from a friend) and left for the airport.
Only to receive the call…they had missed their flight from Sydney to Melbourne and would be showing up a couple of hours late….They were calling me from a pay phone, so no worries, they were all fine and would see me in a couple of hours.
As I hung up the phone, the relief on the my face from the thought of having a little extra time to get their apartment ready was replaced with a little look of horror…what was their flight number again?