Zuri Watoto Wote

Getting to Kenya, via Rwanda, and just a few traveling snafus!!

Posted in Kenya, Nyumbani by Lynn Ouellette on 01/23/2012

FINALLY……in Kenya!!

Well, my fellow travelers have kidded me that they couldn’t wait to hear what I would have to say about making our way here. I have to say that it was QUITE THE TRIP! I started out on Thursday morning the 19th at 9 AM and headed to Boston where I met up with Kristin and we flew off to D.C. together. We surpassed the first snag of having to check in and out security to recollect my 2 checked bags (100 lbs of luggage) that were only checked as far as DC instead of all the way to Kenya, all while toting our additional 4 carry-ons like an Abbott and Costello routine getting acquainted with a good many laughs about toppling luggage and how we already needed to” freshen up” after only the shortest flight of the trip. We connected up with the rest of the travelers at out gate to head to Brussels; that was when we first realized that our flight to Nairobi was to get there by way of Kigali, Rwanda….oh well, a little extra time added, we could handle that.

Then we learned that there was a problem with our plane. And time was passing… passing…and passing. And then came the announcements, one, then another, and another—about technical and electrical problems…and groans about the fact that that might be just “a little TOO much information to be giving everyone about the delay!” Then there was announcement that they were loading some additional software that the captain felt confident would fix it; then, well that didn’t work. Then an announcement that “well, they didn’t really know what the plan would be……” Yikes!! Now it’s about 3 hours AFTER departure time and there’s only one connecting flight to Nairobi per day. So our fearless leader Lloydie began making alternative contingency plans with the United rep: fly to London and spend a lovely day in London before the daily connecting flight to Nairobi (or not so lovely each our 2 stuffed carry ons and collective 600+ lbs of duffels), fly to Zurich and definitely miss the connecting flight, fly to Dubai for 15 hours and then get a flight to directly to Kenya…the next day. During the course of discussing our options, an announcement was made that we needed to go a new gate and we were shuffled off to a new plane where we were quickly issued new boarding passes and were about to board 4 hours late with a small hope and a prayer for reaching our connecting flight—but were told that there was no hope that our bags would arrive with us. So we took off!

The captain came over the loud speaker and said that he was going to do his best to make up time and get everyone to connecting flights…..Hmm, after taking off 4 hours late?! But we got to Brussels and were part of small mob racing to other gates and barely made it, but did succeed in getting to our connecting flight. After many, many hours of flying we landed in Kigali and got a glimpse of Rwanda, deposited some of the passengers there, picked up some others who were headed back to Brussels via Kenya. After about 2 and ½ hours of this process, refueling, etc) we took off for Nairobi. We were flying with 40 Swedish students going from Brussels to Nairobi and when we landed in Kenya, we joined in their clapping. Now about 32 hours from the original departure from home, we were finally in Kenya. And miracle of miracles (we were due for one) ALL of our baggage had arrived too!!  Our driver Justice was waiting with a huge smile and a very exuberant Kenyan welcome (Justice has a very big and happy personality) even though it was well after midnight. And the 6 of the travelers—Lloydie, Deb, Kirsten, Lynne,  Walter and myself—were exhausted,  but brimming with excitement and had managed to do some pretty good bonding, laughing, storytelling and listening of prior experiences in Kenya, and getting to know each over the trials and tribulations of getting here. Finally, in Kenya, headed to Bed at 2AM and ready to go to Nyumbani Children’s Home the next morning.

Since getting online has been a bit of a challenge—I won’t bore—I started writing my blog entries but couldn’t post them. Much more to come……….

8 Responses

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  1. Bill said, on 01/23/2012 at 12:44 pm

    Hurrah!!

    Like

  2. Sharon Tardiff said, on 01/23/2012 at 2:24 pm

    Glad you made it finally. I am having fun reading all about your adventures. The pictures are so sweet of the children. Will be keeping you all in my thoughts and prayers. Sharon

    Like

  3. caroline Triplett said, on 01/23/2012 at 2:42 pm

    I am so enjoying your blog. Can’t wait until
    the next installment!
    Caroline Triplett
    (Lloydie’s sister-in-law)

    Like

  4. Lynn Ouellette said, on 01/23/2012 at 11:29 pm

    Thanks. Will say hi to Lloydienfor you. I just adore her!

    Like

  5. Patti Arata said, on 01/25/2012 at 1:45 pm

    What an adventure….I think…you must have been exhausted but adrenalin has a way of showing up when needed… 🙂

    Like

    • Lynn Ouellette said, on 01/25/2012 at 11:11 pm

      It sure does and we have managed to get pretty much adjusted to Kenya time now. The days are packed full but wonderful!

      Like


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