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Emily and I had our ultimate Mother-Daughter trip in late April.  She is posting some "historical highlights" and her own insights on her page.  Check it out Emily's blog here. We traveled with the ever excellent Amy Haley to Baku, Azerbaijan where we visited some amazing people and an incredible country.  Our dear friends, the Mo's, have lived in Baku for 8 years.  Since the Mo's left Texas for the "other AZ", I've dreamed of going to visit.  So when Amy was invited to speak at a women's retreat, she says she immediately thought of me.
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Amy and me
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with Joy and Scott
Of course, I was so excited about the opportunity!  I love women's ministry (and it had been a while since I had been to any kind of retreat) and the chance to see the Mo's on their own turf was...well, you get the idea...I really wanted to go! 


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Emily and Abby
I knew that God would have to supply the funds for this trip, so we prayed and then put out a call!  We let our friends and supporters know what was happening, and within a few weeks all of the money needed for both me AND EMILY to go was provided.  "my God will supply all your need according to his riches in glory".

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Emily on Easter
This all came about in March, and so we went about the somewhat complicated task of getting our travel visas.  Amy's and my visa applications were submitted before we knew that Emily was going, so her's went in separately.  After the 7-10 days that was promised, still no visas.  But we had 3 weeks to go, so we weren't too worried.  After daily calls to the document service in Washington DC (all done by Amy) exactly one week before we were scheduled to leave, Emily's visa was delivered!  What!?!  Would she be going alone?  I think not!  But it was a humorous thought.  Amy was getting a little discouraged, as evidenced by her lack of punctuation (people exhibit their frustration in different ways).  At least she wasn't SHOUTING AT ANYONE.  So 2 days later, our visas were issued!   Whew!  That was a little close!  It was interesting that once we were in Baku, there was much talk about wanting to increase tourism in the country.  I'd say the visa process needs to be addressed pronto!

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Three little cousins...see no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil.
These flights were going to be loooong.  The longest I'd ever been on.  Frankly I was getting a little apprehensive the days leading up to the trip.  If you know me at all, I am not known to be the heartiest of travelers, and I'm referring specifically to the motion sickness to which  I sometimes succumb.  Ok, it happens often.  The week leading up to our trip carried it's own stress...we were in Tucson, Barbara, my mother-in-law passed away, we planned and had her memorial service, celebrated Easter, and then finally, the day after Easter, flew to Charlotte, NC, to begin our trip.  God certainly worked out all the details, and I am so grateful.

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Joe and Max at Grammy's memorial service
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Here we are at the Istanbul airport...Emily loved the TurkCell ad in the background.
Our flight went something like this:
Charlotte to Chicago - with barely enough time to get to the international terminal, go through security again, and then discover there are no restaurants inside the int'l terminal

Chicago to Istanbul (Turkey...this was the 12 hour flight...see Emily's post "Flying" for more about this.  I slept most of the time, thankfully.  The flight was followed by a 7 hour layover in Istanbul.  By this time the internal body clock is thoroughly confused.

Istanbul to Baku - Finally on to Baku...about another 3 hours.  Then we were there!  And it was 4am.  I'm just not sure what day it was.

More on Azerbaijan in future posts.