Monday, April 26, 2010

Wanna fly somewhere? Email this guy

I bought my ticket to Libreville last week! :) I leave at 6am July 4th, and get into Libreville on the 5th at 6pm. There are at least 4 stops going one way, so I really hope my bag makes it through... and that I can sleep a little bit.

Note to travelers who read this: I really learned how to talk down the price of my ticket by basically contacting 7-10 different travel agents I found online (google search, take the top ten hits) and then when one of them would quote me with something low, I would email the rest and ask them if they can go lower. I should also point out that I spent a lot of time on websites like, pretty much ALL of the "do it yourself" ones, but they were consistently more expensive.

By far, there was only one guy who could get me there for at least $500 below what nearly everyone else was quoting me. His name is Brad la Nasa, and he's in Minneapolis with Pangaea Travel. He didn't charge me a service fee, and he also got me aisle seats! I highly recommend emailing this guy if you're going to travel- even nationally. Here's his email:

Finally, I was kind of disappointed by the 4-5 missionary-centered travel agents I contacted- they were not really that great at finding low prices, and then when I would tell them about how another agent found a lower price, they just kind of gave up. I think that there could be a little more resourcefulness/training/I don't know what to call it because I'm not a travel agent, on their part in trying to compete with what else is out there; just a thought...

Friday, April 23, 2010

Attacks come- but God is bigger

Well last weekend, I was so blessed to be able to go on the Kairos retreat (a 20-30 somethings community group at my church in Tempe, AZ) in Pinetop. We had such a fabulous time enjoying each other and God's enormously beautiful creation.

When I got home, however, I received a letter in the post from Arizona State U, telling me that I had been denied residency for tuition purposes. My heart sank big time, and I got that horrible pit in your stomach type of feeling :( I had been pretty positive that I was eligible for residency, and had assumed that it was just a formality for me to send in the paperwork. This was a huge blow because tuition is about twice as expensive when you're an out-of-state resident....BUT! an even bigger reason I felt really anxious was because I had to buy my plane ticket to Gabon by the next day in order to get the locked-in rate (which was the lowest price I found by several hundred dollars), and if I went forward and bought it, I wasn't sure how I would cover my current out-of-state tuition bill.

SO! I went in to the residency office and discussed the appeal system with this super nice guy called Donavon, I prayed about it, told a couple of close friends and family members, asked them to pray about it too, submitted an appeal to Donovon- and low and behold I checked my tuition statement today and was overjoyed to see that I'm listed as an OFFICIAL ARIZONA RESIDENT (and to everyone in the mid-west: who would've thought?!)!

God is so good and Satan does not want me to get to Gabon.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Financial Support Online

I just got an account set up through the Christian and Missionary Alliance, so if you would like to help support my time in Gabon financially, so can now do so online at

Just scroll to VERY the bottom where it says "Designated Giving" and click on the link there. My account number is 1-47636-41-10

Have an awesomely blessed day- (it is a Monday after all!)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Oil Strikes in Gabon

Gabon's dependence on oil is the main source of its (relative) economic stability. The problem is that the income gained from the exploitation of this natural resource has not been re-invested in modernizing or diversifying the economy; thus Gabon remains heavily reliant on its offshore oil stores. Also, the current president- Ali Ben Bongo- and his father (Omar Bongo, the former president for 40+ years!), have been criticized for amassing vast fortunes during their terms in office, and have been accused of embezzling oil revenues- i.e., your basic corrupted government...

Now, workers for the oil unions are pretty ticked because many of the oil companies are using foreign workers instead of nationals. All Gabonese oil union workers started striking today and people are lined up cars deep at petrol stations, hoping to fill up before it's all gone (this reminds me a lot of the petrol strikes in the UK in 2000, when I remember there being mass panic and everyone was paying way too much for it- by the way unleaded petrol is about $7/gallon over there).

Pray that the almost inevitable protests and demonstrations will be peaceful and that panic will not overtake the country.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Going to Gabon!

I have never made a blog before, so this first post will be short and sweet: I am so excited! I'm going to Gabon this summer to work alongside an amazing team of God-loving and people-loving individuals. More info to come soon...