January 12, 2011

I will get no sleep tonight.

...I know this because I am flying out of Nairobi tonight to Addis Ababa at 3:30am. And last summer I had a similar flight from Nairobi to Addis (although I believe it was at 2am…Ethiopian Air had a special over the summer where the middle of the night flights were half price. And being the missionaries that we are, guess who took advantage of that? I don’t really know what the excuse for tonight is though…)

Anyway, last summer, the flight went a little like this:
  • Leave for the airport at 11pm
  •  Check-in at midnight
  •  Kill lots and lots of time in the Jomo Kenyatta Airport. Which, as an airport, is weirdly long and kind of grotty. But there is a Java House (and their Malinid Macchiatos are my fave, remember?). And sometimes random nice ladies give you their copy of Hello magazine, which is nice.
  •  Decide to meander over to the gate at 1:15am-ish. (Sidenote: these gates are like rooms and you go through security to get in them. So once you’re in, you’re in.)
  •  At 2:15am (past the scheduled departure time, mind you) the plane we will be on arrives.
  •  Begin boarding at about 2:45. (Don’t forget I’ve been in a stuffy room for an hour and a half, sleepy and debating if I will ever leave this country)
  • Take off! And FINALLY they turn off all the lights, and FINALLY I can attempt to go to sleep.
  • 30 minutes later…lights come back on. They announce that we will soon be landing in Kilimanjaro. (This is not alarming, because I know the flight is meant to stop somewhere. Except I had thought it was stopping in Entebbe...)
  •  Land. Sit on the ground for 45 minutes while new passengers board. The whole time the lights are blaring, and there is the normal commotion of people boarding an aircraft. I am very tired. And annoyed.
  •  Take off! Again! FINALLY they turn off all the lights again, and FINALLY I can attempt to go to sleep again. And this time we fly for almost 2 hours – what bliss! Sleep! Yes! …Except for when they woke me in the middle of that to try and give me a meal. Because that is exactly what I want at 4 in the morning when I am trying to sleep.
  •  Land in Addis (early! …which makes ZERO sense.) at 6am. Abby picks me up and we go to HQ. And then I then I get to sleep in a real bed for 2 hours before getting up for church. Which was magical.
So. I am obviously really overjoyed to repeat this process. Especially because I am already exhausted from a visit we made a school in the Huruma Slums of Nairobi which took alllll dayyy (4 matatus and 2 ½ hours to get home. Excruciating.) (And I will probably tell you about that school some other time…when I am back in America and have little else to write about…ha).

But in all honesty, I am excited to be able to have an unexpected visit to Addis, aka my home. I am going to eat injera b’wet and visit my old school and get my hair cut by my old hairdresser and taxi hop and buy some scarves (it’s an addiction. I can’t help it.) and drink macchiatos in random little cafes. It will be great. Also, given that Ethiopian internet can be a bit dodgy, I probably won’t be posting again til I get to America on Saturday. So see you then!

p.s. I ordered my Toms. Silver sparkly :]

[picture taken by my sister]

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