Saturday, 6 October 2007
Rapid City, South Dakota
Well howdy, folks. Long long trip yesterday. I got up at 5.15 a.m. on Friday morning and arrived at my hotel in Rapid at 4.15 a.m. British time. It was quite nerve racking for this old girl, with all the form filling, fingerprinting, immigration etc and then the last flight was on a little plane with propellors. When I arrived at the airport, I phoned the Best Western courtesy bus, which turned out to be the wrong one and took me to the Best Western at the complete other side of town and when I say town, I don't mean the size of Orpington. The kindly driver took me all the way back again to the right Best Western and I collapsed into bed at 9.30 p.m. Dakota time.
I have now been awake since 4.00 a.m. this morning and have bags under my eyes the size of Matalan suitcases but I was heartened when I read the welcome note on the desk in my room. It was this:-
To our guests:
In ancient times, there was a prayer for The Stranger within our gates.
Because this hotel is a human institution to serve people, and not solely a money making organisation, we hope that God will grant you peace and rest while you are under our roof.
May this room and hotel be your second home. May those you love be near you in thoughts and dreams. Even though we may not get to know you, we hope that you will be comfortable and happy as if you were in your own house.
May the business that brought you our way, prosper.
May every call you make and every message you receive add to your joy.
When you leave, may your journey be safe.
We are all travellers. From birth till death, we travel between the eternities.
May these days be pleasant for you, profitable for society, helpful for those you meet, and a joy to those who know and love you best.
Some people may think that was really naff - but it made me feel much better about being out here on my own. I know I'm going to be fine!
I'm meeting the other tour members in 45 minutes - wish me luck and love to all.