May 10, 2008

This morning I left for Ghana. I stayed up until 3 or 4 in the morning packing. I am only going to be gone for 6 days, but you should see the size of my suitcase. It weighs over 65 pounds, mostly because of the Signing Time books and flash cards I am bringing.

The toughest thing about preparing for this trip has been making sure that Leah and Lucy are covered after school, Monday through Thursday. We are in production on new shows, so Aaron, my husband is booked solid. We have a tight schedule and he is responsible for a number of areas on top of editing.

My schedule has been crazy too. I travelled to Las Vegas last week for the Vegas PBS Ready to Learn event. I came home and dealt with food poisoning for two days. Then I shot the new shows, the following two days. I had Wednesday through Friday to tie up loose ends, complete meetings and pack. THIS is what I meant when I said I could make this trip to Ghana work in the necessary timeframe, physically it works, but there are a lot of other things going on simultaneously. I will return Thursday night. I have an interview Friday morning and a Meet and Greet with the children and families we are filming. After that I go to the salon to get my hair cut and colored for another upcoming shoot AND we have a marketing retreat that runs Friday through Sunday. (Take a deep breathe LOL) Then we will be filming and meeting more families on Monday and Tuesday.

My number one, go to person for Lucy’s care is my mom, Linda. Well, mom leaves for a trip to Japan and China on the 17th of May. You can imagine she is pretty busy getting ready for that! Did I mention Lucy’s birthday is on Monday? She will be 8. No, I haven’t sent out any invitiations yet.

Last night I did massive amounts of laundry, cleaned Lucy’s room and vacuumed the house. Aaron was putting spackle on the kitchen walls because we are doing a little remodeling… of course we are!!

I am looking forward to meeting the families who are part of the upcoming shows. I know how stressful it can be for them, hoping their child performs in a completely foreign place and under lights 🙂 I can’t wait to see the footage. And I hope I am not too jet-lagged when I get back. It will work out, it always does!

We are landing in NY now. I have slept all but an hour of this flight. I was out cold. I am sure my head was back and my jaw open like I’m catching flies! At least I didn’t drool.


3 minutes later:

So the pilot just announced, as we came close to landing but then circled back out over the ocean, that our flaps are not working! He said we will continue to circle as they run through some procedures and then we do “Whatever landing it takes!” Are you kidding me? Luckily I am seated just behind the wing in a window seat and he is right, the flaps are not moving. I have come to expect this in a taxi in Ghana, but this is a Delta flight! What an exciting start!

Speaking of exciting, this morning when I checked-in they asked to see the credit card that paid for the flight. Uh-oh! Deb is in Washington DC and she is meeting us at JFK and continuing on to Accra with us there. I was told that I would not be allowed to fly without showing them the credit card. My brain was racing! I frantically called Deb who said that she had shown them the card and cleared me when she flew out yesterday! The Delta agent double checked. Yep, I was cleared.

My heart was pounding! Can you imagine if they hadn’t let me go because they did not know that I was cleared? Note to self: Be sure to bring the credit card with you for international flights.

UPDATE: The pilot says they got the flaps to a position we can land with and we are now heading back to the runway. FYI – I never saw the flaps move, but I’m not a pilot am I.