left for kenya in good spirits- good travelling buds, and no mention of icelandic volcano disturbances...but somewhere on the epic 11 hour flight to amsterdam that all went to shit and we ended up in frankfurt instead, which, as far as i can figure out, is the omaha of europe...no offense, jane and doug :)...the bomb scare in the terminal didn't help much.
but....it was just this vortex of bad food, unhelpful people, forgettable scenery, and a line that we sat in or 6 hours trying to get re-routed to nairobi. which was horrible. BUT the upside of this trauma was that we got switched over to swiss air, which certainly must be the best airline in the whole world. top notch. and- important travel tip here- there's a law in europe that if your airline can't get you to where you need to go on the same day they have to put you up overnite. on their dime. and so, fortunately, one of my classmates speaks italian and gently appealed to the ticket agent our cause...and we got set up in a 4 star hotel overnite in zurich that nite. which was just short of amazing. and probably ridiculously expensive, but not to worry when the airlines pay for it. so we left the airport (finally) and headed into the swiss countryside in pristine volvo taxis...
and it made me think about what america does better than the swiss?
couldn't come up with anything.
they are completely reasonable, have a beautiful clean country, speak numerous languages, drive nice cars, eat great cheese, bake delicious bread, and have access to good wine. technologically they are way ahead of our game, at least in presentation. and everyone is polite. and well dressed. their airline gives you real wool blankets, real silverware, and fancy new planes with remote controls for your own personal TV. in economy. hmm.
it made me a little embarrassed.
and, i no longer will fly delta if i can swing it. and AND, america really is the only country so far that makes you take off your shoes before security. lame.
otherwise, have arrived no worse for the wear to nairobi. which is surprisingly modern, with delightful traffic but no honking. and people are also all decked out here. i love it. so friendly, so exhuberant. spending the next 2 days in an orientation and then heading out to bware, a village a few hours away where we'll be spending our weekends dong community health projects. monday-friday we'll be at st. joseph's community hospital in migori, a slightly larger town in western kenya.
so..looking forward to adventures ahead. encrusted in red mud, fueled by quail eggs and guinea hen dinners, nourished by sweet hot milk tea, and enmeshed with lots of laughter. a little bit more sleep would be appreciated, and although i enjoyed my european vacation, it would be nice to keep the passport stamps to a minimum from here on out.
Happy New Year!!
11 months ago