Thursday, July 23, 2009

I've arrived

The gods were smiling on me for the first leg of my trip. The agent at the ticket counter confirmed my ticket, then offered to put me in an exit row, which somehow still had an open seat. This made the seven hour flight not just bearable but downright enjoyable as I got to know my seating companion, an older Dutch man returning to visit his family. As I looked out the window as we arrived in Amsterdam I instantly regretted not booking my flight to spend a night here. Idyllic is a fitting word for the countryside there and knowing that Amsterdam is filled with thousands upon thousands of bicycles made me doubly sad that I wouldn't get to spend more time there.

The Amsterdam airport displayed the kind of efficiency one would expect for one of Europe's bigger airports, the transfer stations completely automated and the floors spotless. After a few hours here, enjoying an espresson and breakfast baguette I hopped onto the next flight to Nairobi. Sadly, the gods weren't so kind this time in the leg room department, but I did get to know a large Kenyan family quite well as they balanced their three year old across their laps for the next seven hours.

A long layover in Nairobi and onto yet another flight, finally delivering to my destination in Kigali. Nell was nice enough to meet me at the airport despite the 2AM arrival, probably a good thing since at this point the 30 hours of traveling had taken their toll.

It is too early for me to give any impressions of Rwanda, my view is only of the dark airport and the inside of the comfortable hotel we are staying at. I will quickly comment though that the birds here are rather loud and have most unusual songs compared to what I am used to, far more elaborate.

As it turns out I am going to be putting my two hours of sleep to the test, as members of the project are meeting with the supreme court justice of Rwanda this morning. This wouldn't be the type of meeting I would normally attend, but I am the only French speaker in the group and said justice does not speak English. It will be an interesting test to say the least for my rather rusty French, hopefully I do not end the day in less accommodating conditions. :)

That is all for now, as I should probably save my remaining coherence for then.

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