Tuesday, August 23, 2005

In East Africa

It's Friday the 19th of Aug. Our colleague Simon kindly drop us off at the airport. We checked in at 1 am for our 3:25 am flight. We went in early. At the wash room mirror I looked as if I just touched down after a long flight. Normally I only look like this when I arrive not before I leave. We went to the departure gate. I dozed off as we were up since 6 am Thur morning. Then we heard our name over the intercom. We walked to the staff and they said, “These are your new boarding passes for Business Class.” We almost couldn’t believe our ears. This was the first time we were upgraded in all of our ministry trips. My wife said I began smiling after this point.

We went in the plane and sat down on the huge leather reclining seats. The welcome drink was apple juice, orange juice and champagne. We had apple juice. We got linen napkins and personalised service. "So this is how it’s like". We slept well for this 7 hour flight to Dubai.

We then arrived at the impressive Dubai international airport. We have heard many good reports of this city. It is a modern desert city. Whatever illusion we have about self, it quickly disappears when you travel. The washrooms were not as well maintained. We were on transit here for almost 2 hours.

Then we were back on Economy class seats for the 5 hour journey to Nairobi. The Nairobi international airport look like Singapore in late 1970s and they were playing ABBA songs – definitely very 70’s.

We were so glad the customs officer did not ask us to open our suitcases because we were so tired. We were so glad to see Li Chuang and Lisa. We hugged them. Their car was a hatch back so they hired a sedan taxi. They're so considerate. The road from the airport has grazing land where we saw Masai herders and their cattle. Nice!

We arrived at their place in a compound fairly near the city centre. We notice there are no traffic lights as they prefer roundabouts. There are hardly any street lamps but there are large pelicans that live on trees and feed on garbage.

We drop the stuff, have a drink and they brought us to a mall for lunch. Then the girls bring us to Kazuri, a handicraft place and to a Masai bazzar at Village Market. My wife was fascinated but all I wanted was a shower. (Also my wife sleeps better on planes than me.) We finally went home, showered and I saw a huge mosquito. Then we had dinner and catch up. Dinah and I enjoyed time with our old friends.

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