Wednesday, October 05, 2005

All packed up and no place to go

Well, it's t-minus-2-and-a-half-days until I leave for Cambodia and Thailand, and I'm all packed. I've got my passport, tickets and money zipped into my security pouch, my laptop case stuffed with electronics and my backpack filled with things I might want on the 30+ hour journey. My suitcase is packed, with room to spare.

In some ways, I'm completely ready to go. I've wrapped up 99.5% of the work-related stuff I'll be able to get to before Saturday, and I've almost finished the scripts for the five videos we'll be shooting on this trip. On the other hand, I'm completely unprepared. I don't know how some guys do it, traveling for business for weeks on end; I can't stand leaving my wife and little boys. Chien and Pak are feeling the strain as well. They're a lot 'touchier' than usual, crying at the drop of a hat, and storming off to their rooms with little provocation.

I'm in a weird sort of limbo. I always get this way before a big trip; I'll probably spend two full days pacing the floor, checking my watch -- dreading my departure, but loathing the wait. I've got one foot at home, the other in the airport. Nevertheless, when I actually DO reach the airport, all this will change. I'll be in 'the zone,' ready to face the perils and joys of life in Southeast Asia. When my wife pulls away from the curb, and the doors slide shut behind me, I'll be completely immersed in the trip. If something goes wrong at the office, for instance, I can't do too much about it, at least not until I get to an internet café in Phnom Penh. And my excellent staff's got things covered anyway.

This trip is going to be fun. Difficult, but fun. We're shooting a series of short video segments for Asia's Hope. We'll also be taking pictures of all of our kids in the three Asia's Hope orphanages, and collecting stories, drawings and other information from the children. In essence, this trip is really about bringing Cambodia and Thailand home for people to see. Even when we're doing 'touristy' things, we'll be on the clock. Video and photos from Angkor Wat and the Killing Fields will be essential for us as we tell the stories of lives 'Transformed by Hope.'

To be honest, I'm a little nervous about the video portion of this trip. I've set pretty high expectations for what we'll accomplish on this mission. If we don't get the right footage, it's going to be hard to feel like I haven't wasted my time. I'm also a little concerned about my health and that of my teammates. On the last few trips, we've always had doctors and nurses traveling with us. And we've put their services to good use. This trip, we're kind of on our own. We have Cipro and the phone number of a good clinic nearby. So, pray that we all remain healthy. I can't run a saline drip to save my life. Or that of my teammates, as the case may be.

At any rate, I really can't wait to get to Cambodia. Sure, Phnom Penh was just named one of the 5 worst capitol cities in the world, but it's really an exciting place. I'm thrilled to show my old man some of my favorite haunts and introduce him to some of my favorite people.

In the meantime, I should try to get some sleep.

But that doesn't seem to be coming any time soon. Probably better. I need to adjust to the 12 hour time difference sooner or later.

Good night.


indesignguy said...

you did pack your laptop's power adapter I hope. It wasn't specifically mentioned. Please, go back and double check.

Anonymous said...

Bring your Bible (KJV)- a notebook- no walkmans or radios- Shorts that extend to your fingure- no logo t-shirts- hair shorn above the ears- no earrings or tatoos (if you had a totoo pre conversion please covr it with bandages)


John McCollum said...

Thanks, anon. I almost forgot.

Mark K said...

I'm looking forward to the vidio.

Joy Coleman said...

Video Video Video! Be safe John. We're definitely praying for you and we're thankful you're doing this.

danthress said...

Oh what to do with those post-conversion tatoos our chuch is always getting! Not to mention our G4s and Cannon D10s and 20s. I think you should take a scooter, a NIV, and a cigar cutter.

Seriously, just love on those little dudes. We'll be back here doing the same.