Trains, Planes and Automobiles: East African Edition

No, I’m not going to give you a review of a remake of the Steve Martin and John Candy movie from 1987. I didn’t have an obnoxious traveling companion on this long trip. Early Thursday morning, I left Rotterdam and rode the train to Schiphol Airport. I had presented Joop with a George Fox baseball cap, just prior to leaving his home and he told me he would “wear it proudly”.  The train from Rotterdam Centraal to Schiphol was quite crowded.  I had little room for my bag and could not even get into it to retrieve the sandwiches that Margo had made for my breakfast.  At the airport, I retrieved my large bag from the locker where I had stored it.  Schiphol was one long line after another. We had a long line to check bags, a long line to get through passport control and a long line to go through the final security at the gate.  The plane, a 747, was about 40 minutes late leaving Amsterdam and we were told it was completely full, not only of people, but of luggage as well.  I sat next next to an American youth, who slept the entire flight (over seven hours), and a Kenyan woman, who was friendly, but not talkative.  There were many young children in my section of the plane and I enjoyed watching them as we traveled.

In Nairobi, I had a several hour wait, but boarded the Kenyan Air flight to Kigali without incident. In Nairobi, I waited in the same departure lounge we had been in on our trip from Nairobi to Kigali earlier this year.  Security was rather relaxed at this airport.  I walked through a scanning portal, but there wasn’t anyone watching it, andI noticed an open door leading into the boarding lounge, that would have allowed anyone who wanted to avoid security the means to do so.  The plane touched down in Bujumbura, Burundi and many passengers got out, with a few more getting on for the brief flight to Kigali.   By the time we got to Kigali, it was 1:45 am local time.

About 20 people disembarked, with the remainder remaining on the plane for its return to Nairobi.  I experienced a first for me, I was at the head of the passport control line.  Imaneuli met me outside the baggage area and drove me to the guest house.  He is a security guard at the guest house and has just started a taxi service.  It was really comforting to have a familiar face meet me at two in the morning, and as comforting to have a familiar place to sleep.

I am staying in the room that Paul stayed in when we were here in August.  I slept about five hours.  I saw Celestin, Ida and Aryn and Aryn kindly assisted me with several details.  I got the cell phone to work, but need to get a card with air time.  I spoke with Dr. Celestin at KIE who told me to come into his office on Monday.  So, today, I am resting.  We went to the store and I got some food.  Due to the time of the year, and Ida’s leave, I will be cooking for myself.  Aryn leaves for Uganda on Sunday for about 10 days.

Dave and Debby Thomas came by the house this morning to pick up what I had carried for them, for David Buccura and for Drew and Johnny.  Drew and Johnny are leaving for Uganda early tomorrow so I won’t get a chance to see them yet.  Debby invited me to dinner, which I will take them up on soon.  I also asked them to carry some books over for David Buccura.  He has showed me a children’s peace library next to his office the last time I was here.  I carried for him a number of books that had been collected for that library.  Just an hour ago, I got an email message from him, thanking me for the books and for the flash drives that Lon carried over to him several weeks ago.

Debby Thomas referred to me as a mule, and indeed I am.  I enjoyed having the opportunity to carry treasures to people from friends and relatives back home.  May they be blessed by the memories of home and from the kindness and love shared by people who love them, half a world away.

Explore posts in the same categories: Africa, Friends

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