Traveling to and from Africa

Apr 24, 2008
Lisbon, Portugal

Just a few hours in Lisbon between work sites; got to spend a little time in the national celebration of the '74 Carnation Revolution. We were there the evening before 'Freedom Day', and the streets were full of celebrants. It was a near-bloodless revolution 34 years ago; government police killed four people before surrendering, the revolution was unusual in that the revolutionaries did not use direct violence to achieve their goals. The population, holding red carnations convinced the regime soldiers not to resist. The soldiers swapped their bullets for flowers. It was the end of the Estado Novo, the longest authoritarian regime in Western Europe.

En route through Frankfurt in JUN '08, I met an engaging young lady on the airplane (right).  An Egyptian and a Fulbright scholar, en route to Amherst, Massachusetts, she had questions about everything.  A Muslim girl, a school teacher, her father's only daughter, on her first international foray alone and her first time to America.  And then there's me, a Christian father of a courageous school teacher, my only daughter who is off on her own in the inner city ... the two of us hit it off immediately with dozens of stories to tell.  Stories ran the gamut from difficult people to impossible tasks to divine intervention.  The eight hour flight went quickly.  We continue to correspond.

Work is work, but people are everything worthwhile in life.  I'm so thankful for work that takes me to meet such people as this one and all the others.