Sunday, January 09, 2005

Landed in Hong Kong, China

Hong Kong- China -- The team is currently in China. The flight went through the North Pole and over Siberia into Hong Kong. Tomorrow the team heads into Jakarta and will have their first look at the damage from the tsunami.

Cherie's thoughts: The custom clearing in America was quite the experience! The good people in the department of security (TSA) thoroughly went through every Vortex Voyager TM box. The team spent several hours there, but we were so thankful for the levels of protection that the United States provides for its travelers. Continental Airlines, and particularly Mike Smith did an excellent job of getting us on our way and treating us like we were "First Class" passengers!

The ride over the North Pole was amazingly beautiful. Even though it was daytime, the sky never really lit up. The stars from that height were breathtaking. As the plane began traveled over Siberia the mountains covered with snow were clearly visible from 34,000 feet. The temperature outside the airplane was -86 degrees Fahrenheit.

As the group neared the end of the 16 hour plane ride, we were so grateful to feel the solid ground beneath our feet. We took a crazy and twisting taxi ride over a mountain in Hong Kong to our hotel next to the Yellow Sea.

Our thoughts shift from from the anticipation and preparation portion of the trip, which is all but consumed us the last week, to the reality of the pain and somberness we are soon to encounter. We have known the whole time what we are going to see but nothing can truly prepare us for tomorrow. We will be getting a good night's sleep and heading out first thing for Jakarta, Indonesia.

John Torres' thoughts: Halfway through the flight to Hong Kong, I began thinking of the task at hand and felt a bit overwhelmed. This morning I woke in my comfortable Brevard County bed and tomorrow the team and I will be entering into the heart of darkness. We can only hope the Vortex Voyagers TM will reach our intended destination and deliver clean water to those who have lost everything. These people have absolutely nothing. Twenty water units will save thousands of lives. Anyway, that's the hope. The team seems confident and loose but I am worried that perhaps we are not really prepared for the death, desolation and destruction we are walking into. I hope everyone who knows us is praying.