Thursday, January 26, 2012

Day 22 The last installment

The End of the Blog!
Hello all, for the last time! We are in Kuala Lumpur after a very long and tiring night of travel. We took off a few minutes late but soon made up the lost time because we had an amazing 180kph tailwind. However despite this the flight was still an endurance test for all concerned. Long distance travel is so much easier these days, but it is still tiring.
Today the boys are starting to experience that nasty befuddled numbness… jet lag! It starts out as a bit of a yawn, but can soon turn into a semi-comatose state of almost permanent twilight. As I sit here at the desk in the hotel room I am finding my thoughts are wandering while I am trying to make sense of the things I am trying to say. So if it all becomes gobbledegook you will hopefully understand.
We have ended as we started, in the Pan Pacific hotel at the airport in KL. It is a bit of a shack (not).

one of the two rooms in our suite. In the bedroom where my wife is sleeping is a king sized bed!
After all the relatively cool weather we have experienced over the last few days, the heat, humidity and general warmth of KL is both a shock and a pleasure for some. Needless to say the boys busied themselves in getting down to the pool.

 The cool lads catching a few rays!

 Me at the pool
Thank you all for reading and communicating with various young men throughout our European sojourn. We have all appreciated the contact and support, as well as just having the knowledge that so many people were following our adventure day by day. We are all looking forward to our own beds, showers and personal conveniences!  Plus even if they do not admit it, they are looking forward to being with the family that they have missed.
Cheers  Jim S


The final act in our adventure was just as interesting as the rest of the trip had been. We enjoyed a very pleasant dinner at the hotel "all you can eat" buffet. (For some reason the boys really like the phrase "all you can eat". I think they see it as a challenge!

As the meal ended we were treated to a real afternoon tropical thunderstorm. This worried a couple of them, but hey were assured that the storm would be well and truly over before the aircraft needed to leave.

We returned to the international terminal to get that all important last minute duty free shopping done. The group was told to watch the departure information for any possible changes in the departure gate. As fate would have it such a change occurred. We saw that the aircraft was to leave from gate C15 rather than C17, not a big difference. However with only 3/4 of an hour to go before departure they changed the gate from C15 to H10. This was not only a different gat it was a completely different building that had to be travelled to via the internal airport railway. There was a very quick movement by our group to gather everyone, inform duty free shops as to the change and then physically get on a very crowded train and find the new gate. Despite these difficulties everyone "mucked in" and achieved it with plenty of time to spare.

P.S. Well we all made it back, a little tired but happy. Everyone I believe has had a very good time, and as time passes and the pictures are viewed (in several cases over 2500 pictures) the memories will flood back and stories will be recalled. My hope is that the travellers have had life experiences, gained both new knowledge and a new level of confidence that hey could not have gained if they had stayed in their comfortable little world at home. All have done things that they had never done before; they have had to deal with people and situations in a language that they do not speak. They have had to watch for things out of the ordinary and become flexible and adaptable to new and different situations as they were presented.

We would like to thank all of the helpers on the trip especially Marie Galleta whose abilities in both French and Italian was invaluable. I would like to also thank Sue, my wife, who's help in medical and organisational matters with her clear head, energy and skill  helped to keep both people healthy and things on track. I would have been lost without her help. Thanks are also due to Stirling and Jenny Greeneklee, Rod and Ros Norris and Ros Durrant, who all provided adult guidance and stability to the group. We would also like to thank the travellers themselves for their group unity and willingness to help others within the group, and their positive attitudes and acceptance of each other.

Finally we would like to thank all of you the parents and friends who have supported and helped both in the lead up to the trip and during the trip itself. Your attendance at the meetings and in making sure the boys were properly fitted out for the journey was superb.

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