|The beginning of the flight|
|The middle of the flight|
|At the hotel in NYC|
The greeter/bellhop cheerfully greeted us begging us not to leave and had us laughing from the get go as he helped get our luggage loaded onto the shuttle. The shuttle guy was even more cheerful. He was Ragaee all the way from one of the islands in the Caribbean. Dropping us off at South African Airways, he pulled off our carryons. Mentioning that the 5 suitcases and stroller were ours, he dropped everything he was doing and unbelievably gasped, “Get out of here!” Cocking his head, he asked “Are you telling me the truth?” “ Yes, I am”. “Well, I just thought they belonged to all these other people.” “No sir, they belong to us.”
He finished unloading them all, shaking his head the whole time in disbelief that two women had all that stuff. That left 2 suitcases in the back for the 4 people left in the van.
Thanking Jesus that none of our bags were overweight, we headed towards security where thousands of people were meandering back and forth through six lines as a jolly guard shouted out how to undress through the checkpoint! My mind could only picture thousands of sheep being herded through a narrow gate. Once Magy and I put ourselves back together, we headed to our gate for the uneventful wait to board our plane to Africa. So the long journey begins.
I checked the status of our flight and instantly depression set in the dark plane since there were still 14 flight hours left and daylight is lurking behind those shades.
I dug out my ipod, listening to music to wash away the depression while sending prayers to God for deliverance. - 45 minutes.
I stood up, surprising my seat mates, switching positions because my bumb was numb. - 3 minutes
Because the man in front me has lain prostrate in his airplane recliner so that I can’t even pull out my tray while the movie screen hangs broken 4 inches from my face, Magy graciously switches seats with me –5 minutes
I pulled out my travel paint set hoping to paint in the dark with with artificial light as Magy offers her tray to hold my palette. It’s a disaster. –1 hour
Nature called and I headed to the back of the plane staying there for awhile because my legs commanded me to and I obeyed. - 20 minutes.
I Repeated #’s 3, 5, 6, 8 and 10 but not necessarily in that order. - 40 minutes
I ran out of water and decided to walk to the back of the plane, I did this twice much to the annoyance of others beside me, but I made up for it by offering to get my neighbor water as well since she was taking medication. - 20 minutes
I tried to watch “Chefs Around the World” but got bored and decided to solve a crime instead. –45 minutes
Completely bored by now I stood up in my seat on my knees facing the back of the plane scanning the crowd to see what everyone is doing. I know its a sin but I envied the ones who had more than one seat to stretch out on. I saw one rebel and wanted to go sit in her lap as she had her shade cracked open. Hope diminished when a stewardess came by and closed it. –20 minutes
Magy and I have light conversation and decide to eat some summer sausage, crackers and a plastic knife that we got past security. Tootsiepops finish off our queenly snack and we took pictures of ourselves to remember this long flight. Oops! the neighbor gave us a dirty look. ( I bet he wasn’t really sleeping anyway.) –25 minutes
I wondered if it was dark outside yet – 2 seconds
Our meal comes and yay! They turned on the lights!!! It’s like heaven has opened and rays of sunshine burst through the darkness, but then my head screams PAIN!! I grab two Advil from my backpack which is a feat in itself since the food trays are down loaded with food. -1 hour
As exhaustion sets in I realize that for some time now my feet and legs have been hurting quite a bit. I propped them up under my reading light to find that they are swollen double!
Scared that I’m going to get a blood clot, I find the exercises on my screen they recommended and I stand in the middle of the aisle vigorously doing them, not caring who notices! It was a good thing that the guy on the aisle was dead asleep, because I accidentally bent over in his face a few times touching my toes. He'd have gotten more than he asked for this flight. -20 minutes
I repeated several things listed above because now I am delusional and can’t think creatively any more.
FINALLY! The Captain announces we are about to land and the stewardess announces that the shades must come up. Daylight shines through! I imagine myself tearing off my seat belt standing up on the chair and singing the Hallelujah Chorus!!!!
Believe me, I was not my polite self as I stampeded the exit with everyone out of that plane! We won’t even talk about the 4 hour flight forward to Uganda!
|In Africa at last in the sunshine|