Published: June 17th 2012June 17th 2012
and we are off!
It has been a long travel day with one more leg ahead of us. We experienced some excitement here at Jomo Kenyatta airport concerning our luggage and boarding passes but thanks to several helpful Kenya Airlines employees and an airport angel named Felix, we are all set with an hour to spare. Dave managed to get some sleep on two flights. Syd and I are catching up on movies – John Carter (don’t bother with that one), the Intouchables (wonderful!My only complaint is that it is subtitled and my eyes kept closing so I’d have to go back and catch what I missed) and The Vow.
Everything in Zurich was green and lush and then the Alps – simply magnificent! On the Swiss Air flight (we are big Swiss Air fans now) they kept us hydrated and served yummy meals, and finished dinner off with both Swiss chocolate and Swiss ice cream.
The flight route from Zurich to Nairobi took us over Italy and into Africa over Egypt. The weather was so clear we watched the water turn to land and sand and sand and sand. We
The Swiss Alps
The Swiss Alps! Absolutely beautiful.
kept saying to each other, “We’re in Africa!” The in-flight map tracked our progress through names (like Kharrtoum) right out of history and adventure novels. It was deep twilight when we landed but we were able to spot a few of the famous baobab trees. There were (and still are) several groups of volunteers here with their Tanzania 2012 shirts and passengers from all over the world.
Well…. After the email I wrote but couldn’t send last night, we had more airport adventures. Our flight to Kili was announced and we were told to board through gate 7. We walked to the counter, went through a security screening and were told to go left or right. There is a large seating area with no indication of gate numbers. We sat for awhile on one side and then tried the other side. We saw several other CCS folks but we’re all clueless and there’s no official person to ask. There’s an announcement that all passengers for Kilimanjaro should be on board and en masse we all head for the exit we guess must be correct. Someone at the front of the pack opens a door that has
flying into Africa :D
an unclosed padlock through the hasp. 30 of us head down a jetway. We were near the back of the group when we heard “ turn around – this is a flight to London.” We later hear that is gate 6. Can you imagine what would happen at DIA (or any US airport) if people marched down an unattended flight bridge? So we went in the only other direction and open a heavy glass door and are met by a security guard who says it’s a closed area, we can’t come in. No, this is gate 8. Gate 7 it turns out is a bit like the train station in Harry Potter. There is no actual gate 7. We sat and sat. Take off time comes and goes. Finally a gentleman comes to get us and we walk out of the boarding area, down a steep stairway, walk on the tarmac and board a bus. The bus drives us around the runways until we get to our plane – a Precision Air with 2 flight attendants dressed in the brightest lime green jackets I have ever seen. The ride was uneventful except for the cockroaches climbing the walls, between seats and on the floor. We tried to sit, buckled in, without actually touching, walls, floor or seat! We breezed through the visa inspection but hit a snafu when the immigration officer told us we couldn’t get the CTA stamps we were told we needed to have before we left the airport. We tried everything to get this officer to relent and give us the stamp (required for anyone staying in Tanzania longer that 2 weeks). If we get the stamp at the airport the cost is $200. If we have to get it in town we have to pay fees and fines and it will cost us $500. The immigration officer was adamant – no CTA stamps at the airport for volunteers, volunteers must pay $500. So we left the airport, our vans were waiting and we arrived at the home-base about 2:00am.
This morning we had a late morning – breakfast at 8:30. For the rest of our time, wake up is earlier because breakfast is at 6:30 and we leave for work at 7:30. Meals (breakfast and lunch so far) have been fabulous! We went to town this morning and have more orientation and immigration work this afternoon. We’ll write about Moshi town later.
Love from Moshi, whiere the flowers and vegetation look like Hawaii,
Sharon, Sydney and Dave