Our first international flight! Our son liked the headrest TVs.
We made it!
To the right: there we are on the plane.
Qatar Air is very fancy. Three hot in-flight meals from Washington D.C. to Doha, Qatar, and two more during our flight from Doha to our city, Yast’nacew in Wonkt’nacuoy. The baked chicken and grilled tilapia dishes even tasted good!
We had red-eye flights for both big jumps, which meant two long layovers, but please allow me to recount the goodness of our loving God in these inconvenient arrangements:
In short, the long layovers allowed little linville to run, run, run, until he could run no more…and then he walked until he crawled. By the time our trans-Atlantic flight began to board, little linville was snoring in his stroller. God, in his fantastic mercy, kept little linville content the few times he woke up, and kept him asleep for the vast majority of the first flight. While the little guy slept, the reality of what we were doing smashed into my gut again and again, with each little sensory variation. The first is always olfactory. There is quite a difference in the smell of an airplane loaded with Americans, and one stuffed with…everyone else. It relayed the unavoidable message to my brain that we were not in Kansas anymore, but that was just the beginning. Arabic script was now the predominant signage text, and anywhere that English was used, it was constructed in humorously awkward ways. Most of the movies had permanent Chinese subtitles (and there was a huge movie selection). The closer we got to Qatar, the spicier the meals became, a trend that continued on our next flight. Also, the closer we got to our destination, the closer everyone seemed to get to each other. Personal space became…unnecessary and inefficient. Why take two busses from the plane to the terminal when everyone can cram into (or onto) one? Furthermore, the closer we got to our destination, the more our little linville became a celebrity…affirming his instinctual predisposition to stardom, which was so funny to watch.
I was faking it, but little linville really fell asleep like that!
We arrived in Yast’nacew at 9am, and, despite getting to sleep a good 6 to 7 hours on both flights, it was still so hard to stay awake until 9pm, but we did! To the left is me and little linville expressing our exhaustion in the guest house we all occupied until our flat was ready.
Of course we let little linville take a 3 hour nap, as he usually would, but perhaps that was too long because later, at 2am, he was up laughing and ready to go. I was beat, but my bride confessed that she was wide-awake and could stay up to entertain little linville. Well, I awoke five hours later refreshed, but my poor wife was ready for bed again. Ironically, little linville was still bouncing around, energized as ever.
Knowing that the quickest way to get over jet lag is to push through and sleep only at night, my amazing bride took a shower, had some coffee, and embraced the day…slowly.
Even though at the time of this writing it’s only been a month, that first day seems like such a long time ago! Nevertheless, I can still remember my growing concern for my wife. She was acting…strange. I helped her however I could, and figured that she must be exhausted twice over: physically AND emotionally, from all the change; but there was something more, something there that I couldn’t put my finger on, and so my suspicion began.
As the sun finally set on that first day of sensory and information overload, I could barely keep my eyes open. My wife, unfortunately, seemed to be waking up – not that she couldn’t fall asleep in an instant – but was obviously still on America time. I told her to get as comfy as possible and that I would take full responsibility of little linville that night, so if he got up, I’d keep him quite and content. To that end, the little guy and I started playing on the bed (to preemptively expend some of his energy) while my bride took a long relaxing shower to wash off the city that we had just explored that entire first day. When she returned, little linville was sitting quietly playing with a toy, waiting to sing a song, read a Bible story, and go to sleep. To my surprise, the long shower hadn’t given my wife what I call: the sleepy eyes. To the contrary, her eyes sparkled with excitement as she sat down on the bed next to me and whispered with the greatest restraint: “We’re pregnant!”
Mrs. Linville here. Yes! We’re pregnant! To make a gross understatement, this first month has been crazy. To summarize, my awesome husband has suggested that I write a poem about it. So here goes. Enjoy the Dr. Seuss rhyme scheme.
Flying in on wings both literal and optimistic
We land humid, hot, smelly–though altruistic
With jet-lagging feet and scatterbrained minds
We settle a few days in guest house designs.
Then we find out the second night we are there
That a new little linville in 9 months will appear!
The first week just flits by in a flash
From shopping to visiting to eating we dash.
I’m just a bit tired but feel mostly fine
Seeing the best in every bent line.
Week 2 stumbles in with changes aplenty
little linville’s new bath tub!
We have our own flat! But no food and it’s dirty.
The water is cold, the smells aren’t so great
I can’t keep down what is put on my plate.
Emotions run high and hormones do too.
I feel like I’m drowning. I’m starting to rue
Many certain decisions we made in the past;
But praise to the Father, the night does not last.
Though we’re now surviving “out on our own”
His hand keeps us faithfully before His throne.
Here is week 3 and we are starting to see
Just a little glimpse of what “normal” might be.
We have a house helper—she’s learning with us
Though sometimes it’s hard, she’s always a plus.
I’m still sick every day and concerned that I’m thinner
Every bite is a challenge—breakfast through dinner.
Language is hard since there is just SO much
And constantly telling little linville: “don’t touch!”
Despite this I remember His merciful call
The building on the left is a mosque. Our flat is next door!
I rest in His love that’s worth more than it all.
So I cling to the Word, the Rock, and the Life
I pray to our Savior to make clean His Wife
Remembering daily my Wine and my Bread
Without Whom I would forever be dead.
And love in His power, for mine always fails,
Trusting the Gospel through tempests and gales.
So pray for us, friends, pray fervent and hard
Our flesh and the demons are out to bombard
Us every moment—so your prayers do we seek
For our Spirit is willing, but our flesh is so weak.
— I love my wife’s poetry, and you can take that last line as a summary for what we’ve felt has been God’s lesson for us thus far, namely: do NOT rely on your flesh, your own strength, to do anything in Christ’s name. Thank you so much for following us here! I will be updating more often now that we’ve finished the big move and have a consistently language schedule. God bless you!