Some Traveling Observations

All righty, everybody. We’re in Miami, and quite frankly I’m shocked that we haven’t seen Gloria Estefan yet.

I hope that the rhythm didn’t get her. But odds are that if it hasn’t, it’s gonna.

The flight from Birmingham to here was relatively uneventful with the exception of the fact that the heater was on full blast pretty much the whole way. It was basically like traveling in a rapidly moving convection oven, so as you can imagine I was refreshed as could be when we landed.

Honestly, I think that the Lord was preparing me for the Amazon. It’ll probably be the same level of heat, only with some spiders and snakes thrown in for good measure. And also a canoe, but we won’t talk about that right now since my plan is to stay in deep denial about the whole canoe thing – at least until Friday when it’s, you know, inevitable.

When we were about to land in Miami, I looked out of my window (and wondered what is it like out there, in a world where cool air circulates and the heat from the floor doesn’t burn the soles of your shoes?), and I saw what I think must have been the Everglades. I’m assuming that it was the Everglades, at least, because it was very marshy and murky and seemingly quite alligator-y. It was also much, much larger than I expected. I always think of the Everglades as being a couple of oversized canals – really just big enough for Tubbs & Crockett to speed through the area in an airboat.

The last of the big huge marshy area is in the far left of this picture. Try not to be impressed by my high quality photography that looks like something I would’ve taken with a disc camera back in 1984.

And here’s another sight I saw right before we landed:

My first thought?


Hold on. We have to board our plane now. I’ll be back in a few hours.


ALL RIGHTY. We’re in Quito now. We landed around midnight, which means that I need to shut down this computer and get some sleep. Our day starts bright and early tomorrow, and we can’t wait to share it with y’all!

p.s. Sadly, I never did see Gloria Estefan at the Miami Airport.

p.p.s. I don’t really know why I would see Gloria Estefan at the Miami Airport.

p.p.p.s. I just thought it might be kicky and fun.

p.p.p.p.s. And I bet the rhythm is still gonna get her.

p.p.p.p.p.s. TONIGHT!

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • email


  1. I Love Gloria Estefan!

    Thanks for posting right away – we are with you in Spirit — have a good nights sleep. It’s morning here in Zurich and I’ve already had my 2nd cup of coffee. God bless you all.

  2. How geeky am I that as soon as my coffee was ready I hopped on y’alls blogs for an update! Glad you made it safely. So excited to experience this journey in prayer and spirit! Godspeed!

    • Well not geeky at all! On the contrary. You are evidently “in” and “hip” and want to check in where the action is!

  3. Wow, that was a lot of exclamation points. Sorry. :)

  4. HA! I love this post! Praying for you, Sophie!

  5. Praying God’s rich blessings for you all on this trip. The canoe is probably some really high-tech thing from a fancy camping catalog!

  6. A Gloria sighting would’ve been oh so fun!

    Praying for you all!

  7. How exciting! My 15yo son and husband went to Ecuador with a group from our church. We have an orphanage and school (Hacienda of Hope) there near Tabacundo. We also sponsor a 13yo girl through World Vision. She is in the Cochapamba area. We’re hoping that next year, they can plan to meet her during their return trip to the orphanage.

    Hope your trip is a blessing to all.


  9. I was thinking “I love their ham flavoring!” Have a wonderful trip.

  10. Well she COULD have been there! I wish you HAD seen her because you’re right. It WOULD have been kicky and fun ;)

    Hope you got some sleep last night – I’m praying here in VA today!

  11. am glad to see your denial about the canoe is feeding your delirium about traveling! Praying for y’all this week!

  12. Ha! I just can’t wait to read your posts. I am praying for your team this week! Blessings.

    P. S. Wouldn’t it be really kicky fun if you saw Gloria Estefan. In a canoe. On Friday. :)

  13. I almost snorted my coffee through my nose! That rhythm. It got me. Anyway, is it super-pathetic how much delight I’m getting out of the fact that pretend friends from blogland are all hanging out together in the jungle? I mean, Ann Voskamp? So love her. And the idea of her and the farmer hanging out with you and Melanie is filling my soul with joy! Can’t wait to read all about it! Praying for all of you!

  14. The reference to Tubbs and Crockett made me spit out my coffee!
    Be safe and be blessed!

  15. You always make me laugh. I’m so looking forward to reading about your trip. I’m keeping you and your team in my prayers.

  16. So funny! Praying for you, Mel, and the rest of the team. And the whole canoe thing.

  17. So excited to follow your trip!! Praying here…love love love!

  18. You never fail to make me laugh out loud – I have never thought of a hot plane as a moving convection oven, but you are SO right – thanks for the laugh. I will be praying for you this week – I know you are going to have an amazing impact!

  19. Oh my. Goya ham flavoring and a little side dish of Crockett & Tubbs all in the same serving. What a glorious day. Praying that your trip will be filled with even more glory!!

  20. I’m so excited to read about this trip. I’m praying for you and all the children who will be impacted by your words.

  21. Well, maybe you’ll see Gloria on your return trip through Miami. Anything’s possible. When my family was on our way to the airport in Nashville a few years back, I jokingly told my sons we might see Reba McEntire there, and lo and behold if she didn’t walk right by us – along with Narvel and the tall one from Brooks and Dunn. It was the craziest thing.
    Can’t wait to hear more about your trip!

  22. Praying for you guys.
    I haven’t commented before but you had me at “Tubbs and Crockett”. I miss those guys so much.
    Be safe and blessed on your adventure.

  23. Kate Berkoski says:

    How wonderful! I found your blog through a link from Ann V.’s blog…and I’m excited to be following your adventure as one of our Compassion kids is in coastal Ecuador! Praying for you all! Be safe and be blessed!

  24. I think I’d have to bring anxiety medicine with me regarding the whole canoe thing. And about getting a hot plane? I think you’re lucky! I always get freezing cold planes!

  25. and, by the way… since you are out of the country you may not have access to this news, but since I was at .Mom and know your profound love of the Duggars…I felt it important to be sure that you knew that they are now expected No. 20.

    You’re welcome.

    : ) Praying for y’all!

  26. You may have shut down but I don’t believe that witty brilliant mind of yours EVER sleeps. All to say I’m thankful for the JOY you bring to me and so many others with your witty self. Praying for you on this trip!! And my husband has laughed about the canoe. Now that he feels like he knows you and all and has quit teasing me about my “subculture.”

    Much Love, GJ




  28. I just discovered your blog and this post put such a smile on my face! I can’t wait to read more. Love the “TONIGHT!” part.. but now I have “Oh way Oh way! Dor me vu (is that what they’re singing?) stuck in my head.

  29. Here’s my suggestion about the canoe: pretend it’s a ride at Disneyworld/Disneyland. Pretend that those animals you see aren’t real, that the canoe is really on some sort of track that will not tip over, and that the water has been purified by Disney’s water engineers. This is what helped me get over my fears in Haiti. We had to ride, standing, in a cattle truck, across two rivers where the water went up over the top of the wheels. If I thought about it too much, I would have been scared. But I’m telling you, the Disneyland fantasy got me through it.

    Have a wonderful time, and spread the word about the amazing work Compassion is doing.

  30. Oh my – you are so funny -I can only imagine the sleep-deprived, airplane/oven baked you! Praying for a great trip and safety for you all from the Amazon critters. Can’t wait to hear about your adventures.

  31. Wow..your attitude is amazing after that flight. I would have been complaining and freaking are just even more hilarious than usual! Those Gloria Estefan comments had me laughing so hard!
    I am praying for all of you as your obedience will help us all to see and hear God’s heart!

  32. I am so excited for you and enjoy your humor so much. Will be praying for the team and all the kids. Thanks for sharing your journey with us!

  33. Just started following you because I am praying for the team. You are hilarious! So glad I found you, I needed a good laugh today.

  34. Now, canoe trips in the midwest are just plain ol’ fun — as long as you don’t get eaten alive by the mosquitoes. In the Amazon though???? Holy flesh-eating fish, Batman!

    I think I’d take eating guinea pig over that any day. (That was the big what-if on our World Vision trip to Bolivia!)

    Praying for your team and looking forward to your posts!

  35. I am so excited and praying for y’all!

    Okay Gloria did once walk in my office by accident and when she realized she needed the next office and turned and left. My very witty friend looked and me and said “Turn that Beat Around”

    I nearly fell out of my chair laughing! She was very sweet and kind and dressed in a killer all white outfit I could never pull off but she rocked it!

  36. I almost CHOKED I was laughing so hard at “maybe the rhythm got her.”

  37. Boo Mama – I am from Alabama and would have flown from Birmingham with you today if it could have been possible. Love this blogging excursion. Can you or one of yout teammates please find my Compassion child, Liza Paola Paucar Guaman? She is at the Vida Nueva Student Center and lives in Pulingui – the mountainous region – 17 km north of Riobamba. She is 15 yrs now and I adopted her at 3 years. We have never met. If by chance you tour that area, I would be most grateful if you could please give her a huge hug for me and tell her that I look forward to meeting her one day!

    Be safe and have fun.
    Tracy Gatewood

  38. Great shots! Did you take those from your phone through the window??

  39. laughed out loud at your Gloria Estefan comment…. my 14 yr old daughter didn’t have a clue who she was…so I showed her on youtube. :)

    Thank you for allowing us to peek in through all of you.

    praying for you and reading every day…


  40. So wish I could have written those first three paragraphs. Literary GENIUS, that’s what.

    Praying for you and your Jungle Gang. Mucho love!