Arrival in the Persian Gulf
Trip Start Oct 29, 2016
9Trip End Nov 07, 2016
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It was complicated receiving a visa. In past times one could get a visa on arrival. But with the civil unrest which started two years ago over a disputed election, the government tightened up the process. I had applied for a visa four weeks in advance of my planned entry to Burundi during my pre-Feast trip which was also to include the Congo, but I didn’t receive the visa for Burundi until it was too late to make the visit here. And the visa was only validated for a month, rather than the usual three, so in order to use it I must leave Burundi no later than this Saturday. There is still no word from the Congolese embassy.
After discussing the situation with Jim Franks and Doug Horchak, I decided a visa in the hand was worth two in the bush so to speak. So I bought a ticket two days before traveling, Qatar Airways offered the best deal, $2400 less than on Delta/Air France, and planned for a week’s travels.
My wife and I had just returned from our Feast of Tabernacles trip on Thursday afternoon. The festival went very well in both France where we began, and in Canada where we finished. Since I was scheduled to speak in Dallas on the Sabbath I’ll need to be in Burundi, I asked Pastor Andy Burnett if he would switch places with me and he kindly agreed. So I gave the sermon in Dallas, then immediately changed clothes and headed to the airport for my night flight to Doha, Qatar.
14 hours is a long time to sit on an airplane, but the flight went smoothly. As I was still tired from our previous travels I was able to sleep close to 8 hours, which is more than usual for me. The airport in Doha is new, very modern, and cavernous. I had to buy a transit visa to leave the airport, then took a taxi to a hotel I had reserved: 15 minutes, 10 dollars – quite good.
I slept quite a bit on the plane, so I hope I’ll be able to sleep well tonight, before continuing on to Nairobi and Bujumbura.