Fly during an electrical storm.
Last Sunday night it took a few minutes for me to realise those bright lights I could see through the windows of the airport terminal were flashes of lightning and not strobe lights from a plane, a fact confirmed by the Bureau of Meteorology Severe Weather Warning on my DiPhone.
With our 2012 "In the Footsteps of Jesus" tour ready to take off at exactly the time the storm was forecast to hit the airport I decided not to share the news with our band of eleven happy travelers - one of us quaking in her boots was quite enough!
By the time the heavens opened we were all on board but the rain was so torrential the refuellers had to stop their task. We waited. An hour passed. The rain beat on the plane's windows, and rivulets even ran down the walls in places causing the cabin crew some consternation. With the evening take-off curfew growing closer and closer we dreaded being told to disembark and come back tomorrow - possibly more than we dreaded taking off in the storm.
With only minutes to spare before we'd be grounded overnight, and insufficient fuel on board to make it to Dubai, a decision was made. We took off into the storm in a bumpy start to our trip. It was prayer and white-knuckle stuff (or perhaps that was just me?) but happily the ride smoothed out before long.
And the fuel? We topped up during an unplanned stop in Colombo at 3am local time. It was dark and we stayed on board for the hour it took - but least we can say we've been to Sri Lanka.
I hope to share our adventures here over the next few weeks as we travel Jordan and Israel "In the Footsteps of Jesus".