If you've been following my blog or my travels at all, you will know that I'm not supposed to be in Kenya, I'm supposed to be in Tanzania! Well, through the miracle of International Travel, a lucky few had the opportunity to miss out on the last seat for the flight to Kilimanjaro/Arusha. Six opted to wait it out in the Jomo Kenyatta airport and wait on a straggling member of our party who has not had an easy time of getting here. Four of us opted to spend a few hours in the "Nairobi Safari Club" hotel. And we have one guest with us... a group of Kilimanjaro hickers also lost one of their group to luck and he has been tagging along with us.
Those of us who opted to stay at the hotel now have surprise transit visa's to Kenya forever stamped to their passports. We four are myself, Michael Stephens, Jessica Schaeffer and Mary Wilson. I know some of them have families following this blog and will be curious to know what is going on with them.
We climbed into our midnight shuttle and jokingly told the driver to give us the First Class Midnight Tour of Nairobi. He took us seriously. I've seen much of downtown Nairobi - Parliament, a "Taco Club" which is what Taco Bell is called here, the University and now the Nairobi Safari Club hotel. All of it seen in pitch blackness in the middle of the night and I am sure that it is much better in the daylight at the height of downtown traffic. I expect that as we pull away from the hotel later this morning, we might be able to get some pictures to do justice to our bonus trip to downtown Nairobi.
Other than that, the trip was fantastic. Not a hitch or a glitch. Pleasant stop in DC and so glad I had at least met one of our members before, Henry Skinner, and that I had met a few of the folks in DC through FaceBook long before. London Heathrow certainly competes with the airport in Paris for being spread out and a jungle of pathways. Being that my grandmother is from England, I regretted that I did not do her homeland justice as my first visit being a pathetic 4 hour layover.
I had not sat next to any in our party for the entire way here but had the opportunity to get to know Mary quite well on our flight from London to Nairobi. This was the longest leg of our trip - 7 hours and 50 minutes in row 40. We were blessed with 3 hours of solid sleep immediately and then had a fun time the rest of the way.
This morning, we must be at our shuttle at 5am and get our tickets straightened out at the airport and hopefully be assured of the location of our luggage. Our straggler will have caught up with us by then and we will be on our way to Tanzania around 9am. Another major benefit of this experience is that the bulk of our party landed at Kilimanjaro/Arusha in pitch blackness. We will have the blessing of daylight and will be able to see Kilimanjaro in all its morning glory as we fly over it. We will barely have enough time to drop our bags before we will be on our way to the Child Survival Program!
What an experience! Praise God for it all!