Saturday, June 27, 2009
To Addis and Back (Part 1)
I'm writing a captain's log so I have a record of the trip and store memories safely.
We (my mother and I) flew KLM from Washington, D.C to Amsterdam, then Amsterdam to Khartoum, and finally Khartoum to Addis. I had worries about the plane being stormed in Khartoum by a band of terrorists, as we had to sit on the tarmac for 90 minutes for refueling. It brought visions of other tarmac stand-offs, but against all odds, nothing happened!
Two new warnings the flight attendents give these days: 1) "As the plane is refueling, please keep your seat belts UN-FASTENED for safety reasons." Ok. Now what's THAT about?? "In case the plane explodes in a fire ball not unlike a nuclear mushroom head, we want you to be able to exit safely???" 2) "Due to flying over U.S. airspace, Homeland Security requires passengers do not congregate in the galley area or near the restrooms". Hmmm..... makes one feel cozy and safe, eh?
Anyway, we made it after 28 hours door to door traveling without crashing, exploding mid-air, being taken by terrorists, or having lightening strike us down (a new one for me, I thought planes were safe from lightening until the recent Air France disaster.) I slept through most of the trip thanks to my anti-anxiety agent, and enjoyed that much of it, knowing the way back might be much more difficult with an infant on my lap.
We were supposed to be met at the airport by an agency rep, but he was nowhere to be seen so we caught a taxi (the driver had no headlights and strapped our luggage into a pyramid on his roof. It was too dark to notice much of the city as more than half the lights were out.
The guest house was simple but adequate and we slept for hours, only intermittantly noticing the neighborhood dog who barked from 11PM to 4 AM every. single. night. I would notice him much more the following nights.
In the morning, we feasted upon scrambled eggs and dry french toast (syrup was not a known topping at our guest house, but that's ok). I had been told the night before that I could see Charlie today instead of having to wait an extra day and she was to be arriving at around 10 AM so I was very excited.
(To be continued.... here is a teaser pic)