Friday, July 23, 2010

Day 1, July 18, 2010 – The Journey

After a fantastic birthday date with Shane on Saturday and a great gift of a hotel room by Geoff R, my adventure to Africa began. We arrived at the airport in Wichita at 5:00 am. There was a bit of confusion because they did not see my ticket reservation number. After a quick call to the travel agent, everything was ready to go. I had my tickets to Dulles in Washington DC in hand and my bags checked all the way to Entebbe, Uganda.
The first two legs of the flight were uneventful (well, other than the guy a few rows in front of me getting sick…nice). I arrived in DC at 11:30am and began my 9 hour layover wait. Not long after lunch I saw a few others wearing our team tshirt. As the team trickled in we began learning a bit about each other. It was fun to hear the different stories that brought each of us to this team.
Around 5:30, we wanted to start getting our boarding passes, so asked the attendant at Ethiopian Airlines if we could begin. He asked us to bring all the boarding passes so he could check us in as a group. It was so nice to be able to skip the LONG line. He was amazing. Although some people had not been able to check bags all the way, like I had, he said he would change and re-tag each of the bags so we would not have to deal with re-checking bags at Addis. He also gave Kari and I bulkhead seating – woo hoo!!!
We were in airplanes for 26 hours total, with a short layover in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. It was a good, but LONG trip…and where we were sitting it was VERY cold. We arrived in Entebbe, Uganda tired, but excited to be there and ready to get to the hotel. Unfortunately, half of our bags (28 suitcases) were missing!!! We finally made it to the hotel at 4:00 am. Neither of my bags had made it. Luckily my Daddy taught me to always have all of my necessities in my carry on. So, I had most of my toiletries, 3 outfits, make-up, camera and flip video camera – plus my laptop and some snacks. I was ready!! Finally we made it to sleep around 5:00am…with a 10:00 am wake up call – blech!!!

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