The German, the Italian, and Two Dutchmen (The Beginning of a Grand Adventure)


As I previously mentioned, I had limited computer access while I was away so instead I wrote down a lot of stuff the old fashioned way with pencil and paper. Crazy I know. We were so busy most of the time I was there, if I didn't write down what we did each day there is no way I would remember it all. So below are excerpts from those notes. And what better place to start than the airport? That's what I thought too.

So here we go... 


My flight went great from Tulsa to Atlanta. I sat next to a very nice German man who was traveling on business. We got the exit row so there was plenty of leg room on that flight (I later wish it was like that on the other two!) and I also got the window seat. It was a very pleasant flight. People told me the Atlanta airport was big and they were not lying. I had to ride a subway to get to my concourse. Once I got there I found out that my flight was going to be delayed by a little more than an hour and that it was possible that I might miss my connecting flight!! While we were waiting I met an older retired couple who were traveling to meet up with a cruise ship. They both graduated from Oklahoma State so we talked about our native state for a little while. The outlet to charge my phone was near them :) But the seats in the waiting area were starting to fill up and I could see people eyeing mine! So I went back to sit down. I started visiting with a lady across the seat from mine about how crazy it was and we talked for a while. She is quite the world traveler and gave me some tips about the Nairobi airport. We are now facebook friends.


Because of the delay in Atlanta, there was a chance I'd miss my connecting flight in Amsterdam. But praise the Lord that did not happen. I sat next to a large Italian man who spoke no English and hogged the armrest for the entire 9 hour flight! I did have an aisle seat so at least I could go to the bathroom when I wanted! Not that you WANT to use the airplane restroom..but sometimes you must! When we landed in Amsterdam it was raining and we did not land at a gate. So they brought the stairs up to the plain then we all got in a bus/tram and it took us to the terminal. I asked a worker right away about my flight and showed him my boarding pass. He pointed me in the right direction and they had already begun boarding but I made it in time!! 


I had a window seat on that flight and sat next to two very nice Dutchmen who bought and sold flowers. They were flying to different parts of Africa to meet with their flower suppliers. They had some candy they called droppy (which I have no idea how to spell so just go with me on this). They said I had to try (yes I took candy from strangers lol) and it tasted like a really gross black licorice. I am not a fan of licorice anyway, but I had to chew it up and swallow it. I was by the window so it's not like I could run to the bathroom and spit it out! lol I figured I might need the practice because I wasn't sure what all I would be eating there. 

I also watched Toy Story 3 and cried like a big baby! Also if you watched that movie and didn't cry at the end, you may actually not have a heart... But after this movie I might not have one either because it got ripped out! 


I made it to the Nairobi airport and that was a very different experience than any of the other airports. But I took the advice of my cousin who travels all over the world for business and pleasure and kept my head up and pretended to know what I was doing. Confidence and bravery! I found the visa counter and stood in line for 30 minutes or so. I visited with a girl on a missions trip from Canada and two Canadian businessmen. We had a pleasant visit even though it was very hot and stuffy in the line.  I didn't have all the right forms so the businessman told me what to get and they held my place in line. The men had both been to Nairobi before so he told me where I could pick up my luggage and where to get a cart. He also gave me his business card, hotel and cell phone # in case I had any trouble! They had just been to Oklahoma a few weeks before and he said he didn't understand the Oklahoma City airport because they couldn't fly into it. They flew to Dallas and then drove to OKC! He said they drove through a bunch of small rundown towns and countryside with rundown farm houses. He said they were afraid to stop because it looked like something out of Texas Chainsaw Massacre. LOL I thought that was hilarious.

Then I made it through customs just fine and they didn't check my bags at all. I walked out into the night and a sea of black faces greeted me. People were lined up with signs but I didn't see anyone I knew but didn't want to look uncertain so I kept my head up and kept walking although I wasn't sure which direction to go. Then a voice behind me said "Are you Sarah?" I turned around and it was Denny and I said "YES!!" and hugged him!!! I was so happy to see a familiar face! So we loaded my things in the car. The steering wheel on the wrong side confused me a little. Ha I don't remember how long it took us to get home because we were talking and he was telling me different things about Nairobi and Karen and I was thinking.."I'm really here!!! I can't believe I'm really here!!! We got to the house and their worker opened the gate and all the dogs met us. They have several dogs - for security and they just like dogs lol They brought my bags into what I thought was their house and then said -- this is where you will stay. It was a beautiful room with a bed, a sitting area with a tv, a small kitchen area stocked with lots of snacks, and a bathroom with a regular toilet, shower and another smaller bedroom to the side. It's connected to the house but the entry ways both go outside and then have a large metal gate door that also gets locked with a padlock in addition to the door itself being locked. I honestly had no idea what to expect. I did not ask questions about the living situation or food or anything because I didn't want to get some idea of how it would be and then be disappointed. Also those things didn't matter because I was going either way. So the nice living space was a lovely surprise. As were these beautiful flowers that were waiting for me.



They showed me into their house and we visited for a little bit. Denny gave me the rundown on the room and how everything works. Hot water for the shower, trick to flushing the toilet, plugging in electrical things, tv, how to lock the doors. It was about 10:30 when I got here then we did all that. So once I was all locked in, I tried to unpack a little but I was ready for bed. So I took a shower and climbed in bed. She told me if I felt up to it I could go to Mom's in Touch with her in the morning. That is her Mom's prayer group. They gather together and pray for their kids and the school.




Hope this wasn't too long and that you made it through. This is a very beautiful place and I have met such nice people so far. We will be doing a lot more this week to get ready for the ladies retreat this weekend. Lots of baking. I'm excited and I hope it turns out as good here as it does at home!  I am writing down in a notebook what we do each day and what new things I have tried. 

Ok well I'll let you all go now. From half way around the world I love you all!!

Sarah




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