So the journey begins, 24 hours from now, I’ll be in Kigali, Rwanda. In an act of great faith that I will ever see them again, I entrust what are now almost all my worldly possessions for over a year over to a total stranger, who puts strips of paper with BRUS-KIG on them, and sends them off on a moving belt through a door in the wall. Checking baggage through to Africa used to be a touch-and-go proposition 40 years ago, especially if the bags had to go through Lagos. I remember passing through the airport there once and seeing a glass-walled room at the airport, at least 2 stories high, that was packed to the top with “lost luggage”! At that moment, I understood why so many people traveling to that continent never saw their bags once they turned them over to the airlines. Luckily for me, I was never one of them but I did wonder this morning whether I would ever see my carefully-selected-for-this-trip personal items again.
Today I fly to Chicago, from there to Brussels, and tomorrow from Brussels to Kigali. By 8:30 p.m., I’ll be in Kigali. That will be 2:30 p.m. EST, making it a 22 hour trip. I am already tired just thinking about it. I used to love settling into a plane for 8-9 hours, now I’m not so sure it will be as easy as it was when I was 20. But I do remember that it was a time for me to reflect on my life, and ready myself for the next adventure. Today, I will have a lot more years upon which to reflect so perhaps the time will pass quickly. It’s hard to believe that it has been 45 years since I first arrived in Nairobi, Kenya, as an undergraduate student from UC Santa Barbara to study at the University of Nairobi for a year. The day I fell in love with Africa…
One thought on “All my bags are packed, and gone!”
It’s only fitting that you return to East Africa with many more years of wisdom and experience.
Comments are closed.