Friday, February 4, 2011

Tu Mafika! Feb 2, 2011 – Wed

Well the journey started at 6am phoenix time ( 4pm Kenyan time) on Tuesday Feb 1st, and I arrived at the Methodist Inn in Nairobi at 10:30pm Kenyan time. 30+ hours of travelling! Last year I broke it up by staying in London for a few days, which in addition to being really fun, made the travel seem so much easier. I had a layover in Philadelphia and one in Zurich, neither was for very long, and since I am savoring the last few moment of gold status on USAirways and was flying internationally, I got to go in all the fancy lounges. I almost wished I had longer layovers. It’s not the free food or alcohol that’s nice in there. It’s that there are comfortable chairs and silence, and no loudspeaker boarding announcements. I find that the most annoying thing about airports, even worse than the security regulations, body scanners, or waiting for bags. Oh funny story – so I thought I was going to get to go through the body scanner for the first time in Phoenix, but they closed it one person in front of me, so I went through the normal line. I had mixed feelings as it seemed kind of fun and cool for the first time, but I realized there would probably be many many more trips and the novelty would wear off.
Really cool cokatu type bird

Onto Kenya! I arrived in Nairobi with a different view and excitement level than last year. Last year was so full of questions and newness, while I think this trip has more expectations and memories. I fear I will be caught up making comparisons to last year’s trip that I will miss enjoying the experience. (I do like making traditions out of an experience that has been repeated). For example, last year, when I exited the plane with a group of 20, we were all buzzing and just seemed to appear at the visa counter. This year, I realized there’s actually a walk to get there, with corridors that seem more like a flea market than an airport. Huh. And later, while we were driving to hotel, I remember that last year I noted the crazy traffic, driving on the wrong side of the road, and the surprising amount of greenery. This year I saw a police officer walking around with a really big gun. I don’t remember a single one of those last trip. Huh. But on the other hand, I remember last year seeing how excited the returnees were to see Father B (Father Bernard) and other Kenyans that are so memorable from previous trips. I remember thinking – they only knew each other for a few weeks, how can they be that excited. Well this year I get it. Father B and Antony met us at our Methodist Inn, a hotel we stayed at the first night last year as well, and boy was I thrilled to see them! Even Bernard and his family stopped by before they head off to a new assignment in Australia. So I’m sure there will be great things about returning too!

Two sweet girls along the road

At the airport, Uncle Ted met me after customs and gave me the rundown on the many meetings he, Ed, Kathy, and Jack have attended since they got here last Friday. It also sounds like they have been quite busy and we have a lot to do before everyone arrives next week. Cheri and Shawna also arrived safely, all of us on different flights. We are the whole crew until next Wednesday when everyone else arrives. We leave at 7am for meetings and travel, and it’s now 11:30 so I better sign off. I got a total of 2 hours of sleep on the planes and add that to the schedule I kept in Phoenix and I’ve slept 12 hours in 4 days. Huh. Note to self....sleep more.
In summary – we arrived with all our bags! Yea!

1 comment:

  1. The body scanner is unsettling believe me! I just hate that they need to see a picture of my body make up, yuck! Dude the lack of intercom in the airport sounds amaaazing! Glad you got there safe pookie! Hope you get some poultry gift soon!