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Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Tuesday June 3rd

Last night I went to the front desk to ask about the internet service and they told me it had been down since that afternoon. I asked if they had a phone number for British Airways and they found a few and tried them so I wouldn’t waste my airtime. I needed to get more minutes on my cell phone and the gift shop where the cards are sold had just closed down. The man was nice enough to open for me to purchase some phone minutes so I could at least call and check in and get seats. It’s a very good thing I did not wait until check in time at 11:45pm to find out about the internet because it turns out they closed at 11! Fortunately they got me a phone number to call!

I went back to my room at 10:50 and got ready for bed thinking I would wait until check in time. I was SO tired that I set my phone alarm for 11:45 just in case I fell asleep and laid my head down. Sure enough the alarm startled me! I called British Airways and got no answer. At this point I wasn’t worried about getting an aisle seat on the leg from Nairobi to London but I was worried about London to Philadelphia because it is prime travel season there, however, sleep won out and I decided to call in the morning.

I woke up at 5:30, five minutes before my alarm. I think I was worried I would oversleep and miss my last game drive. I got to the front desk at 6am only to find out that the internet was still down. I tried to call my sister, Lisa to check me in online because she knows this routine from booking her athletes on British Airways but here home phone went right to voicemail. There aren’t too many people I would call at 11:15pm USA time so I reluctantly called mom. Not only did I not want to bother her, but I didn’t want to worry her about my finger but I wanted someone to call my neighbor who uses the same doctor as me and ask her to make an appointment for me for when I get back.

I reached mom and dad and let them know I only had about 2 minutes worth of overseas calling left in my Kenyan cell. I gave them my confirmation info and asked them to check me in and get me seats. At 6:30 we left for my last game drive. This trip out we were specifically looking for Rhino since that and the Leopard were the only animals we had not spotted yet. It’s amazing how spoiled we’ve become; we see Zebras now and it’s old stuff so we don’t spend much time on it! We didn’t see a whole lot this morning and never did find any Rhino. We did go down to a part of the Masai River where there were a LOT of Hippos and Baboons though. We saw the usual Topi, Buffalo, Thompson Gizelles, Impalas, etc. but no Rhino.

It got very late so we headed back and almost when we were at the lodge we spotted two Lions; a male and a female. It made up a little for the sparse morning but we had nothing to complain about, we were VERY lucky with our game drives and even got to see the beginning of the big migration-theZebras who go before the Wildebeest!

I was very glad that I did not plan on leaving with the 11am flight; it was well worth staying until the 4pm. I was able to spend about an hour at the pool, take my time showering and packing, have lunch and have the dressing on my finger changed as well. I went to the front and checked out at 2:45. The flight was supposed to leave at 4pm but knowing what happened on our flight there I knew anything could happen. I was waiting to leave when Dickson came in so he asked me to have a drink with him. He had his usual tea and I opted for hot chocolate. He wanted to give me his contact info and get mine; he has a friend in Samburu where he is from who he claims is an amazing runner and he wanted to know how this guy could pursue it. I told him I would try to find some info from him from Catherine and Anthony.

The pilot finally called the hotel to confirm their ETA to our airstrip so Dickson drive me to the airstrip. We approached the departure area and he kept on going so I was a bit curious as to why. He kept telling me that he wanted me to miss my flight! Trust me, if I were not traveling home tonight I would have loved it! He drove right down the middle of the airstrip and finally told me he was “clearing it”. I thought he was just being funny until he proved it! My mother called on my cell to ask me a few questions about the booking and all of a sudden, three Warthogs ran out on the airstrip. Dickson threw the car in park and next thing I knew it he was out on the airstrip chasing three Warthogs away! It was priceless, however, I could not get off the phone with Mom and miss he entire photo op!

The plane came an hour late and it was a much smaller one than on the way here. We saw in the distance tremendous rains! We flew right into them but the flight was amazingly smooth. We arrived at Wilson Airport at little after 6 which was 45 min late. Anthony met me there and since he works there now (flies helicopters for the Police) he was able to meet me on the runway! He took me to the Panafric to pick up my large suitcase and then we went back to his house. Just before we turned down their street we saw Catherine finishing her training run in the dark. We drove slowly behind her to light her way. We came in and had tea and Samuel arrived. He was not with Lidia and Steven but Esther was there. We chatted a bit and then Anthony set me up online to print my boarding pass. I rearranged the stuff in my suitcases so my toiletries would be checked in and then we had dinner. It was called Githeri and was comprised of potatoe, meat, and lots of veges especially a particular corn that Catherine says she can not find in the US. It doesn’t cook and get soft like our corn at home; rather it is very hard and crunchy. It was very good but it got late very fast so we had to leave for the airport. We arrived at 10:30, I was able to drop my bag at the fast drop and go right through security. I stopped at a duty free shop to buy some Amarulu (yummy!), a liquor that comes from the amarulu fruit and tastes amazingly like khalua and cream all mixed in the bottle! This fruit grows in Africa and I have never seen it sold in the US. I purchased a bottle on a cruise ship once and loved it!

I arrived at my gate just as they started boarding so it was very nice!

1 comment:

  1. Stef, I just got this. To sy I am inpressed with what you've done is arguably the understatement of the year. I'm at a loss for words . . .



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