an Ode to Airports

Airports  have long held a soft spot in my heart.

eppley parking lot

The pickup/drop off area in front of Eppley.

The Eppley Airfield in Omaha has been to me a gateway into worlds unexplored, a doorway to adventure–or, on the receiving end,  a welcomed solace after a whirlwind experience, a simple and familiar friend after life unfamiliar.

the simplicity of Eppley Airfield

the simplicity of Eppley Airfield

During the 11 months I spent traveling around the world with 35 other vagabonds, airports offered us (at least the hope of) clean bathrooms, air conditioning, free wifi and a semi sanitary place to lay our heads to rest.

sleeping in the airport

Chiang Mai International Airport has now become the airport in my life.

chiang mai airport

It’s at this airport that I have been able to stand and wait to welcome friends from America, Uganda and Cambodia; it is here that I have embraced people that I haven’t seen in a long time and it is here that I have had to say many goodbyes.

Last month, it was there that I was given the pleasure of welcoming these two faces into my world:


The month of October was spent sharing my world with my mom and my grandma.  I was able to spend the month introducing these two ladies to the people that have stolen my heart, taking them to the places that I have fallen in love with and ordering them the food that I don’t know how I will ever be able to live without.

Eating bugs was all on her own accord...

Eating bugs was all on her own accord…

For one month my mom and grandma were given the opportunity to experience the temperatures, tastes and traffic of the place that I call home. Together we celebrated both the beginning of my 27th year of life and the completion of my first year living in Thailand and together we travelled to the south of Thailand for a week of rest and relaxation before the three of us head back to our normal routines.


Mom at one of our dinner spots. I like everything about this picture.

Of course, three generations of strong willed, independent women spending three weeks together in a culture unfamiliar leads to some tense moments, and tense moments there were.  Moments of misunderstanding, moments of cross cultural frustration, moments of unmet desires and expectation.  Moments of life being lived in community.

The story ends with another trip to the airport and another goodbye.

For the first time, instead of me saying goodbye to them, they said goodbye to me.  For the first time, I stood back and watched them go through security and onto immigration.  For the first time they would head back to that familiar friend Eppley and I would stay put.

Goodbyes are a strange thing.

The ending of a season and the beginning of something entirely new.

After saying goodbye to the two woman who have loved, raised and supported me these past 27 years, I was able to say ‘hi’ to craziness that has become my normal routine.  I got to say ‘hello’ to Jed who is now part of our funny family, ‘hello’ to two new students in my first grade class, and ‘hello’ to another year of life.

So, thank you ladies for coming.  Thank you for embracing the people and the food.  Thank you for loving the students and for loving me so well, and thank you for letting me stay.

I love you.


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5 responses to “an Ode to Airports

  1. gramma Sharon

    Hebrews 11 the Message Bible
    8-10 By an act of faith, Abraham said yes to God’s call to travel to an unknown place that would become his home. When he left he had no idea where he was going. By an act of faith he lived in the country promised him, lived as a stranger camping in tents. Isaac and Jacob did the same, living under the same promise. Abraham did it by keeping his eye on an unseen city with real, eternal foundations—the City designed and built by God.
    Samara is doing the same kind of act of faith as Abraham by traveling to an unknown place that would become her home, and living there as a stranger.
    Love is a special treasure and the love you are is wrapped up in a beautiful package… yourself. love you from here to the moon and back … Gramma

  2. mom

    What a fun blog…
    (Gramma reply is right on the money.)
    God called and you did NOT hesitate but went. What courage! To go into the unknown and do what was asked of you (but not required). How many people have been called but too scared or too preoccupied with everyday life that they choose NOT to hear. Choose to ignore. Choose to NOT fulfill their purpose. I am BLESSED that God chose me to raise you, for this short time, and then be able to release you into your calling. It is hard for any parent to let their child go into the unknown.
    Coming to Thailand has made it the known…. (instead of the unknown) Seeing the people there that truly love you and seeing how happy you are doing what you were called to do. You are no longer my child…. but my adult daughter. You have been my adult daughter for sometime, but I haven’t wanted to let you go from under my protection. I realize that you have always been UNDER God’s protection which is way better than I can offer. It was AMAZING to see you GLOW. (Shine – my sunshine)
    You have become a remarkable Woman of God. I love you so much and am so PROUD of you…. MOM

  3. i like this and i like you.
    [and airports are pretty great places]

  4. Sarah

    Oh Samara! A little part of me still thinks you might come back and barista with me and make me love and hate you all at the same time. I know that prolly won’t happen, but a girl can dream right? Miss you!

  5. I teared up reading your mom and grandma’s comments. You are obviously the next woman in a long line of women that God has equipped to do great things!

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