My first NCFI conference was truly an amazing experience. I don’t even know where to begin…except to begin and share with you some of my experiences…
I flew 10 hours to Santiago and am constantly amazed at these red-eye flights that feed you! Am I the only one who feels weird boarding a plan at midnight, getting comfortable to watch movies and catch some Z’s only to have them serve dinner? And not just a snack, but a full course meal with an entree and desert.
I really scored with my seat this time, for I chose the first row, thus I had lots of leg room. I also like to sit on the aisle for I can get up and do laps around the plane. I would say it is the med/surg nurse in me that cannot sit that long, but then again my father has always been pretty active. These red-eye flights are a great way for me to catch up on movies and learn the art of sleeping sitting up.
We arrive in Santiago at 10:00 am and the weather is warm and dry, spring time for them. Later on I find out, that this dry, warm weather is their typical pattern. For anyone who has been in Southern California, this is exactly what Santiago reminded me of, with their Mediterranean climate and morning fog rolling in from the coast.
After immigration and customs, I made my way to the baggage terminal and found a sign saying “Christian Nurses Conference” which was a wonderful sight. Waiting for the bus was a large group of nurses from all over the world, Australia, Norway, Canada, USA, and Philippines. While I was waiting, I recognized a nurse from Manila, she had been to the Spiritual Care class that Tove, Swee Eng and myself had taught. Her name was Denia and we become buddies!
They were having us wait until we got to 20 people before the call went out for the bus. There was quite a bit of confusion, but with the help of a van we all made it to the conference center.
When we arrived at the conference center it was lunch time, so we went into the dining hall and upon our entry, a huge round of applause and excitement burst forth. Come to find out, this was how they welcomed all the bus loads of nurses arriving at the conference. This constant theme of brotherly and sister love enveloped the entire time. It is truly amazing to immediately enjoy and love complete strangers from around the world–this connection was our hearts in Christ molded and shaped for His work with patients–Amazing!