Saturday, August 14, 2010

BackBlog #2

After a three-hour layover at London’s Heathrow airport, it was off to the races again. Same plane model, same seat location, longer flight. Ugh. This time, though, I slept. Yep. It was glorious. And I saw the Nile River! Also glorious.
As we prepared to land, the captain dimmed the lights in the cabin, and I could finally see the lights of Nairobi spilled out on the grassland below. I experienced a bit of the rollercoaster feeling again; that exhilarating, sickening feeling you get when you’re finally strapped in and there’s no turning back. As soon as this plane landed, I’d be grounded for the next ten months. Whoa (I’ve been doing lots of “whoa”-ing lately).
Cassie and I entered the airport and waited in the line for visas. Then we waited in the line for out-of-country passports. We were free to pick up our baggage! Maybe. We roamed the baggage claim area and inspected all four working carousels (two were, well, not working). We also checked the random piles of luggage. No luck. Two SMs, two bags each; missing. Uh-oh. We turned to see what the large “queue” (seriously, I want a British accent) of people was waiting for. “Swissport Luggage Services” the booth read. Lovely. Half of the 100+ passengers on our B777 flight were missing their luggage. After waiting in the visa and passport lines for 1+ hrs, we decided to have some more Kenyan fun and hop in this line, too. For 1.5 hrs. Joy. Thankfully, we had Pastor Kent and Dean Suzan Crutcher from Maxwell waiting patiently for us to come out with our luggage. Which we didn’t. But we finally were able to leave our address and luggage description with the service clerk and loaded up the Land Cruiser for the drive to Maxwell, sans luggage. Kent did his best to point out items of interest while Cassie and I scoured the darkness with bleary eyes for places like Tusky’s supermarket in the bustling suburb (can I call it that?) of Ongata Rongai. We arrived and unloaded what luggage we had and were shown the ins and outs of our new apartment. A kitchen with stove/oven/microwave/filtered water/toaster, a small living room, and two bedrooms with a bathroom in between. If I had an apartment like this at Andrews, I’d be quite pleased, really. ☺
We crashed into our beds around 12:30p local time and I slept well until 7:30a. Woot. We putzed around the house until about 9:30 before we went to the Crutcher’s house to ask for a campus tour from Kent. He showed us inside, outside, and around each building, but I’m still not quite sure I’m oriented. Blame it on my superb sense of direction. Then we had a little bit of chill time before lunch at the Sandoval’s at 12:30p; delicious. We headed out to the mall (at something Junction…I’m sure I’ll figure it out eventually) and had 2 hours to kill in the mall. Give some jetlagged SMs a few shillings in a foreign mall before they’ve been there long enough to use anything up and you won’t keep them busy for more than an hour. Thankfully we ran into one of the other MAA faculty in the mall and she gave us the keys to the van and we took a little catnap. On the drive home, I was frightened at the thought of driving myself to these little shops, but it sounds as though the opportunity is available and somewhat encouraged. Driving on the left side of the road while avoiding donkeys and baboons and crazy passing vehicles and numerous pedestrians doesn’t sound appealing yet. I fought sleep when we got back and decided to go for a little stroll around the campus. Beautiful. The sun was just beginning to set over the Ngong hills and the temperature hovered around 70º with a light breeze. No bugs, no humidity…wow. I could live here…hey, I am! Yay.

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