Rio Day 1. A day of Contrasts. Qatar to São Paulo

imageI had a five hour layover in Qatar.  It took me awhile to find the gate as the flight was not yet listed.  When I arrived everything was closed and no one was there.  Slowly by slowly people arrived.  One of them was from Roumania and had just completed a business project in Nagoya, so I added him to my list of random people.

Then the changes began to happen.  They changed the gate on me with a little more than thirty minutes to go.  Fortunately while it was in another wing of the airport it turned out to not be too far away.

When I got to the boarding gate I found out they had returned me to the economy section but did give me a front row seat so I was content to have the extra leg room for the 14 hour flight.

Arriving in São Paulo for the first time ever, we all had to find and show our boarding passes as we left the aircraft.  Next came finding immigration, the baggage claim, then the check in counter for the local flight to Rio.  I don’t think that I have ever done as much walking in one airport and there was more to come.

The line took forever as people needing earlier flights were moved up the line.  When I finally got to the front of the line the nice guy took so long I knew that something was wrong.  It turned out my ticket had been booked for Tuesday and today was Wednesday.  Arrrrrrrgh!!  Not the best news to get when you have already been travelling for over 24 hours, you are supposed to be meeting a Japanese friend on the same flight and friends are going to be waiting for you at Rio airport.

I had to go to the airlines service counter which involved changing floors and walking through through three terminals.  Waiting in line again. They don’t speak English!!!  I don’t speak Portuguese!! However, I finally end up with a new ticket an hour later than my original time.  I find wi-if after like forever and am able to message Tatsuya, the Japanese friend and Ricardo who is already waiting for me at Rio.

Time to check in. More waiting in line.  When I receive my boarding pass the nice man tells me where my gate is, only one terminal away! He also informs me that they have already began boarding!!!!   Next security check, even more waiting in line and you guessed it the gate was as far as you can possibly get from the security gate.  I rush though the terminal to my gate and everything was closed, fortunately the was a nice guy guy there who when I showed him my boarding pass told me that boarding would not take place for another thirty minutes so I should relax and sit down.  That was the nicest best thing that I had heard since arriving in São Paulo.

On the plane I sat next to two delightful young kids from Texas.  We had wonderfully, relaxing, fun conversation but I am sorry I was too tired to try and take any pictures.  At Rio I rushed of the plane picked up my bag and went to the exit and Tatsuya and Ricardo were waiting right there along with Raphael, Ricardo’s son whom I had baptized while there were ex-pats in Tokyo.

imageRicardo drove us to the church where we are staying, gave me a great tourist guide and a box of chocolates so overall the day ended rather well.

Rio Day 1. A day of Contrasts. Narita to Qatar.

I am awed an amazed at the people that have been or have just become a part of my life, that make a trip like this one to Rio a very special time.

imageIt began with Tim Needham who the night before I left came over just to pray blessing over me and this trip.  Then there is My neighbour, Mr. Miura who took our plant that needed watering over to his place to care for it while I am in Rio.

imageThe time came to leave and Ken Itoh picked me up and drove me to the airport.  Different people, with different parts to play each contributing to make this trip begin well.

imageCheck in went smoothly and the nice lady moved me to an exit seat so that I would have extra leg room.  Jennifer Gracy had prayed for and upgrade to first class.  Not exactly “First Class” but I was thankful and improvement for which I was very happy.  On the walk to the gate I met my first random person of the trip 🙂

Just as I went through the boarding gate  they called me over and said they were very sorry but because the flight was so full they would have to change my seat.  They put me in Business Class.  Jennifer.  You and Jesus are awesome!

imageI sat next to me second random person of the trip, relaxed and enjoyed the first leg of the journey.

One of the benefits of flying business class is the food.