And we’re off!
Nov 2nd, we left the US for Africa. We are flying: Tampa –> Detroit –> (Nov 3) Amsterdam –> Nairobi (Hotel stay overnight) –> (Nov 4) Mombasa
Seated at the gate in Tampa, marking the beginning of our journey, I find myself not as excited as I expected. Where I’ve flown SO many times this year & I’m coming off of a bad virus, I suppose I should have expected that it wouldn’t really begin for me till we entered Kenya, as turned out to be the case – when we touched down in Mombasa I truly felt I was in Africa. Brian, my friend and travel companion for this trip were quite relieved to be seated there with time to spare prior to our boarding – after so much preparation and several potential threats to this trip, the fact that we were there with some time to spare was a relief.
The East Coast’s beloved Appalachian Mountains looked like a wrinkled up rug beneath the plane. A day later, the Alps provided such a stark contrast as they towered high, reaching for the plane with their sharp snowy peaks & ice fields.
The best leg of the flight was definitely from Amsterdam to Nairobi. On it’s preceeding leg an Ambien 5 lulled me to sleep for a few hours during the flight. Shortly after taking it though a passenger passed out in a seat toward the front of the plane and no doctors were aboard. Thankfully she came around by the time this fact and our recruitment as senior medical staff aboard was established, therefore there was no need for us to intervene. We de-planed in Amsterdam to a Dutch interpretation of an international airport terminal – beautiful, efficient, amazing food, clean and generally very pleasant. After partaking of some amazing cheese and other tidbits we boarded the KLM flight to Nairobi. It was so nice. The food was amazing, service was great- nice with impeccable timing-, entertainment was personal & with plenty of options and the facilities were clean and accessible. I would definitely reccommend KLM and will fly with them in the future.
Touching down in Nairobi I was impressed by how few lights there were both around the airport and around the city. For the 12th largest city in Africa with over 3 million people, it was quite suprising to me. We stayed overnight in a hotel in Nairobi and took a early afternoon flight to Mombasa. I would recommend that anyone pursuing this type of itinerary do so because we were so much more rested and prepared for the beginning of our adventure and enjoyed the first few days much more than we would if we had crammed the travel all together.
Driving from the airport in Mombasa to our location with Elective Africa, on the outskirts of a suburb called Nyali Beach, gave us a view of the surrounding city and suburbs. It’s a very large area with many people and many different types of people especially Arab, Swahili, Masai, African, Indian and a few wazungu (White People – plural). Driving through the marketplaces and residential areas one could see “The kids are running wild”. By this I meant the animal kind as every color and size of young goat could be seen anywhere you looked mostly eating banana and fruit peels from garbage piles, poking their curious noses where they didn’t belong and avoiding any form of human control.
More updates to come!