First layover: Washington Dulles

Trip Start Jan 13, 2013
Trip End Feb 04, 2013

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Flag of United States  , Virginia
Sunday, January 13, 2013

I've started what should be a three-week trip for which it was challenging to pack because I will experience both tropical Africa and the winter of Europe. The first two weeks will be spent in Côte d'Ivoire. Then I’ll spend a few days in the Geneva area, making some visits and preparing for the Feast of Tabernacles, and then a final few days in London, where I will speak.

Usually my African trips include several different countries, in each of which I spend just a few days. It’s unusual for me to spend two full weeks in just one country. But twice now in the past few years, I haven’t been able to follow through on visits that were planned to Côte d’Ivoire. The first time happened when the new government began requiring visas for American travelers. I had been going there for years without needing a visa and I didn’t know there had been a change. When I arrived without a visa, the authorities held me in the airport for a day before I could board a flight for Paris.

Last October, the visa service I usually use to get the multiple visas I need for these trips, dropped the ball and didn’t get me a visa to Côte d’Ivoire. The French bureaucracy in Togo (the French embassy issues visas for Côte d’Ivoire in Lomé) was so slow that I couldn’t get a visa in time for my flights, so I missed that visit as well.

There is quite a bit happening in Côte d’Ivoire as far as the church is concerned, some good and some not so good, that require attention and care, so I will spend a longer period there this time.

Now I have a long layover in DC, not quite long enough to make the 25 mile trip into the capital worth the trip, but certainly long enough to grow tired of the terminal. I’ll have another long layover in Paris tomorrow, but saved quite a bit of money on the air tickets by accepting the long layover times.

I noticed when checking my location on the map that Dulles is located about 10 miles from the Manassas Battlefield National Park where the first great battle of the American Civil War occurred. I hope to visit that site some day.
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Beverly Lofty on

I will thank you in advance for your updates :-) I very much appreciate reading them and following the trip. Thanks again :-)

Ted Franek on

Mr. Meeker,
Many thanks for allowing us to follow along with all the great pictures you send. Praying for your safe and productive journey.

Tommie B on

Thank you for once again including us - looking forward to following along. May your travels be safe and rewarding!

Tess Washington on

Hello Mr. Meeker, so excited to receive the 1st blog of your 3-week trip to Cote d'Ivoire and Europe. I just read the entirety of your blog to my husband. He, too, is looking forward to hear your blogs. I recognized the Dulles airport photo for we've been through it many times. Our children live in Northern VA, 10 minutes away from it. We'll pray for a successful trip and your safety throughout this trip!

Rosie Seltzer on

I'm looking forward to following along on your trip. Thanks for sharing. I'll be praying for you.

Arnold Burns on

Hi Joel,
Hope you have a safe and sucessful trip and you are in my prayers. Your trip to visits to greet our brethren and enccourages them as well as it does us.

Doug & Janel Johnson on

You're in our thoughts and prayers as you make this trip. Thanks for the updates. We enjoy them and travel vicariously with you. May God bless your efforts and keep you safe and healthy!

mary hendren on

Hi Joel,

We will keep you in our prayers as you begin this trip and look forward to the interesting comments and insights you share. I can't imagine traveling light when you have to pack for both hot and cold weather. Yes, it would be interesting to visit the battlefields in the Washington DC area, but what sad history they bring to mind.


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