Friday, November 14, 2008

The final flights and first meetings in Kigali

London- Nairobi
I must confess I was a little scared of flying Kenya Airways. I imagined an old old rickety place and uncertified pilots. But I have to say I would fly Kenya Airways coach class any day. It was comparable to 1st class elsewhere. It was a great flight. Good food, good movies, and this time we were seated on the side section and had 3 seats for both of us. Rob slept fairly well and so did I until around 3 am. Which made sense because 3am London time is 8 am EST. Until then I thought I alone was unaffected by massive time changes. Turns out I’m just like everybody else. But, the good news was again, lots of good movies. My favorite Wall-E. We touched down in Nairobi as the sun was rising. We had arrived. A totally new continent for me and a totally new life of everything foreign. I was excited and scared and unbelievable out of my head jet lagged. The landscape of Africa is beautiful and totally different than anything I’ve ever seen before. Lots of small lakes, rolling hills and valleys and the strange type of African tree often pictured. We deplaned on the tarmac and walked to the actual airport building. We didn’t have to go through immigration because we just stayed in the airport. We arrived at 6:15ish and our next flight wasn’t scheduled to leave until 1pm. Once in the airport we walked around a little until we found a nice place to sit and I left rob with the bags to explore J There were a ton of duty free shops. I walked in to all of them hoping to find something to eat, but for the most part there were only candies and chocolates. I did buy us a mid morning snack of macadamia nuts and a liter of water. We took day three of our malaria pills right on schedule and I explored a little more of the shops familiarizing myself with African things.
We grabbed some more food at Java House. I think our tummies were thrown off by the time change, as well as our sleep. Rob had a Kenyan coffee (excellent but I’ve been staying away from caffeine while my system adjusts to the time change), I had a large portion of the best mango juice I could ever imagine for like 1 dollar and we split an almond croissant while we regrouped and watched the BBC. The rest of the morning from around 10am to 1pm. So from around 2am-5am EST we (especially me, rob read the whole time) experienced awful sleepiness and that painful sensation you get when you know you should be sleeping but you can’t. I slept in like 5 minute intervals until the gate number was posted.
Nairobi – KigaliOnce again we loaded on the tarmac. I remember very little from this plane ride. The small amount of time that I wasn’t asleep I was in a weird sleep like daze. Rob even told me that we were delayed on the tarmac for like an hour. I had no idea; except for when we took off I thought we had landed in Kigali. Apparently, someone did not make the flight and so they had to find and remove their luggage. Very good treatment, much less English spoken, and less familiar food offered. This plane ride afforded an excellent chance to sleep before being hit with lots of new things. My attempt to jump right into the new time zone was rejected by my body’s demand for sleep and I was totally fine with that. Very sleepy Hartleys landed in Kigali. 3 of our large bags came right out, all fine and the insides totally intact. The only problem was that our huge black one, the heaviest one, had the handle ripped off somewhere between London and Kigali. The 4th finally arrived about 30minutes later. Also fine. We also escaped the overage fine charged for heavy baggage because Rob works for a non-profit, of course HOPE would have paid this but it was nice not to have to deal with it on the front end. We left the baggage area and immediately saw Malu. She warmly greeted us and took us to our car (a new pickup truck) and we met our driver Musoni.

No comments:

Post a Comment