Thursday morning, my dad drove me to the airport. We hit traffic at 63rd and Railroad and I was super nervous that I was going to be late. Who would have guessed that I would cut it close getting to the airport? Ha! Some creative driving by my dad and some major stressing - I made it to the airport without a minute to spare.
My flight from Des Moines to Detroit was easy, and I sat next to a guy from Mauritius, an island nation off the coast of Madagascar. He just graduated from ISU (the drive from the DSM airport to Ames when he first moved here was the longest drive he's ever been on!) and was heading to an interview in Indianapolis.
When I got to Detroit, I was bummed to see that the Detroit Motor store that I had visited on my way home from Europe in 2007 was now a Motown store. Nothing against Motown, but it was a sign of the times in Detroit.
I had a decent layover that gave me enough time to grab a steak sandwich and say one last "goodbye" to a few friends via text. Our original plane had some mechanical issues, so we moved to a different gate and left about an hour later than scheduled. The flight to Nagoya, Japan wasn't too bad. At 13 hours, it is the longest flight I've ever been on. The gentleman next to me was very sweet, his daughters are around my age; if I was asleep when they came by for snacks or drinks, he'd order for me.
When we arrived in Nagoya, we deplaned and went through security. I grabbed Starbucks and it was time to re-board. It was the same plane, but about 10% of the passengers stayed in Nagoya, including my seat mate. The flight from Nagoya to Manila was around 4 hours.
Immigration and customs were easy, and Greg and Roxy were able to come into the airport to greet me! It took a while to get all of my luggage then we made our way to the van for the Apartment/hotel. We drove for about 2 minutes, then I was surprised by the Team Leads holding this sign!
And the back was signed from the entire team
The drive to the apartment was nice - the traffic is crazy by US standards, but not as bad as India. When I got to my apartment, I quickly booted up my computer to let people know that I made it here, and then shot a quick video that I will upload tomorrow.
More soon, I promise! :)