Editor’s note: Jessica Witer, of Anna, left May 21 to spend the summer in Namibia, Africa, on a mission trip.
The 21-year-old, self-employed massage therapist is traveling with Experience Mission, of Fort Wayne, Indiana. As she is able and has access to the Internet, she will send tales of her experiences, which the Sidney Daily News will publish as they arrive.
SOMEWHERE IN NAMIBIA — At noon, Thursday, May 24, the members of Experience Mission filed onto a charter bus, which would take us to an airport in Chicago, Illinois.
The people that made up groups spending one month in Namibia, South Africa, or Mozambique; three months in Namibia, South Africa, or Costa Rica or six months in Africa or the Caribbean all spent the three-hour drive rotating seats constantly as we all struggled to talk for the last time to everyone we’d formed friendships with.
We sang songs, played games, took naps, read books and laughed incessantly. In only four days, I’d made friends — whom I got along with and whom I loved so much — so much more quickly and easily and real than the ones I made in 12 years of school and a year getting trained in massage therapy.
I cannot even express how amazing these people were who were gathered together, living out their calling to long-term mission trips.
After we arrived, we all said our goodbyes and split up. We had four hours before our plane left, so we all spent the time talking of our hopes and fears for the mission.
The first plane we took was a 14-hour flight to Qatar. We landed, and I was terrified to leave the airport, but my group wanted to see the city and our layover was 10 hours, so I went.
The city of Doha was amazing. It was easily the cleanest and nicest city I’ve ever visited. After walking around, taking pictures and eating dinner at a local restaurant, we went back to the airport.
Some of the employees gathered around to watch a group of us play card games. I finished the book they gave us at training, and we took naps in a quiet lounge.
Once on the second plane, which was a 10-hour flight, we watched movies until we all fell asleep.
We were so relieved to be in Namibia when we finally landed, but it was still a four-hour bus ride to our training center.
We were all asleep by 8:30.