Greetings from Dakar! Our journey started Friday the 3rd, when we were deposited at the airport at 3pm by Tim Haley of Christ Fellowship Church in Fallston, MD: thanks for the ride, Tim!
We didn't have a long wait and boarded well before 5pm (departure time was 5.40), but then... we waited. We were informed that the computer which controls the fuel gauge and fuel distribution on the plane was malfunctioning and would have to be fixed. They had already moved out from the terminal and eventually had to taxi back in to another bay. They rebooted the computer involved, then all the computers, then they "rebooted" the whole airplane, i.e., they turned off everything for about 10 minutes. While we waited we found our friend Julie Adamson (whom we had somehow missed in the departure lounge) and enjoyed chatting with her. The a/c was running onboard, so we were not uncomfortable, but we had nothing to eat or drink except water during the 6 hour wait. For some reason, they did not activate the entertainment system either. Finally, around the time they got it fixed (or "came up with a fix" I should say, b/c they never did fix that computer and actually did a work-around), they decided to serve us dinner while refueling at 10.30pm, so we took off after 11. Then all went well and we arrived as scheduled in exactly 8 hours. Hurricane Earl presented no problems whatsoever, although they flew due south a bit further than usual before heading across the Atlantic, just in case.
One thing I want to mention is that the passengers were all very gracious while waiting. We were all frustrated, but no one got nasty or mean or gave the crew a hard time.
It's more humid here than even in Baltimore, but the temperature is about the same. We'll live. We are enjoying the hospitality of Alex & Amet DaSylvio-Fall. It was great to worship at Dakar Academy today with Danielle, Susanna, and many other friends. Lord willing, we will head to Kayes on Wednesday or Thursday in our own car.
Thanks for your prayers and good thoughts as we travel!