Sunday, October 14, 2007

Getting Here

Up at 3am on Saturday morning and out we headed to Kilimanjaro International Airport. We had to stand outside with the other passengers from that flight as the airport wasn't open yet :-) That was a first.

Our one hour flight to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi was easy. Above the clouds, we saw beautiful close- ups of Kili. The lady at check-in didn't allow us to take our carry on bags on this first small flight. Byron had to cajole her to book them through only to Nairobi so that we could collect them there. She didn't really like sending one all the way to Madrid and letting us collect our other two little ones, but she did it.

In Nairobi we saw a fearsome sight! As we walked from the plane to the terminal, across the black top, we saw hundreds of bags being sorted by hand and carted off toward the aiport buildings. It didn't look any too organized or promising.

We had to clear immigration and go down to baggage claim to get our bags. Byron's came through fine.... Then finally mine MUCH later. Believe me, I had been praying hard to see that little blue bag appear through the rubber strip curtain!

We checked ourselves back in, stopping to point out to the counter lady that on the next leg we were seated in two middle seats away from each other. She was very kind and scrambled around and got us two together at the bulk head. An aisle, a middle, lots of leg room and togetherness. Much better!

Next stop was Schiphol in Amsterdam. No problems. No hassles. We even had time for a quick dinner.

We landed in Madrid at close to midnight and found that our one checked bag had not made it with us through the 4 airports that day. I was thankful that Byron pressed for us to get our hand luggage in Nairobi as that had almost all my stuff.

Two metro stops later, and we were in the heart of Madrid. It was a warm Saturday night and the narrow little cobbled streets in this old section of the city were filled with groovy young people "going out." It felt so much like an area of Lisbon we used to frequent!

We walked just a few blocks to Kelly and April's, finding Kelly up at 1:30am to welcome us. By the time we climbed into our bed in their very sweet little apartment, we had been up for 24 hours.

So we slept!

We had one quick morning to catch-up with Kelly and April and meet their cute little Alleke. Too short! After our very Madridian breakfast of toasted bread with blended fresh tomato, olive oil and salt on top at a local cafe, we hustled off to catch our speed train to Sevilla.

The train was a very pleasant experience. Jonah met us in Sevilla and we were soon sitting in another very neat little Spanish cafe eating tapas for a late lunch.

All in all, it's been a good time getting here. Our meetings start tomorrow. This is a long post because it was a long trip! We are happy to be here and all is well :-)


Jenelle said...

Pure joyous insanity! 4 Airports and in 24 hours!

Glad you are safely there, and nestled into Southern Europe again. She needs you.

Pam said...

Bless your weary traveling souls!

Saw your two youngest today! heather was good, admitted to missing you a bit, collin didn't comment!

Also laughed hysterically at nacho libre! FUNNY! NACHOOOOOO!

jborden said...

i agree with nelly!
"pure joyous insanity!"
cant wait to taste that again on 15th of december!
and see you all!

Jenelle said...

Pam, you finally watched Nacho! Now you know a butt load of crap about the gospel!

mimou said...

Ohh I wish I was down there in Sevilla! Just found out you are in Tanzania, will read back your blog posts, I'm contemplating on applying to a research trip to Tanzania next summer..Not sure yet. How long have you been there for? Blessings, Mimosa (Finland/Scotland)