Well, we landed in Keekorok after a much smoother flight. It didn't matter, though. Although she waited until we got on the bus to take us to Jomo Kenyatta Airport, Karen still passed out. It was a longer one, which obviously stresses us out more than the shorter ones. She lay across the seat, with her head against Casey's hip. Again, everyone was eager to help, but wait for us to ask for it.
It took a while for her to come to, but once she did, she was fine.
We made it to the airport in short time, and after we got all the bags inside, most of the group went next door for something to eat and drink, Tamye and Kevin stayed behind with the bags, and I went to Unit One to see if Kevin's bag was still there.
I had a much easier time. The Duty Officer was much nicer, and 10 minutes after talking to her, I was wheeling Kevin's suitcase to him. He was excited to see it, but didn't show any interest in opening it. He's a good kid. We continue to be amazed at how easy it was for him to deal with not having his clothes when he cam eto visit a third world country. I'm not sure the rest of us would have faired as well.
Everyone came together at 9pm, and we got our tickets, went through immigration, and immediately headed for the Emirates Lounge. Yikes, the one in Nairobi is different than the one in JFK... and the one in Dubais for that matter... we should have expected that, though.
Karen set up a Facebook page for Rich while the boys slept on leather lounge chairs. I tried to do more blogging - still unsuccessfully. It seemed like forever before we finally boarded the plane. The inside of the plane was nicer than the lounge was. It was a quick 8 hours to Dubais, then another 14 back to JFK. The plane ride lasted forever. Everyone slept a little, but I wish I would have slept more.
We landed in JFK, and proceeded to the JetBlue counter for our flights home. We checked our bags in and were all set. Rich's family wasn't so lucky. While Andrea waited with Jack (who was feelig nauseous), Rich, Tamye and Casey got worked over by the ticket agent. They had a reservation, but they didn't have seats. It took quite some time, but miraculously, seats appeared. We headed for the terminal, grabbed a quick bite to eat, then went to our gate and waited.
We got on the plane a little later than scheduled, but we were happy to be on our way. Or so we thought. No sooner did the plane take off, but it turned around and landed right away. I was asleep, but Andrea was among the many passengers that smelled something similar to an overheating curling iron.
As we landed, the runway was full of fire euqipment. It was incredible to see, and somewhat unnerving to experience. We sat on the plane for far too long before finally being told we could leave. They said they were bringing another plane for us. They did. 2 1/2 hours later. We landed in Rochester at 1:30am, and didn't make it home until 2. But we're all home, and we're all safe.
Being able to share in this trip with my family was just short of miraculous. Although we weren't able to share this journey with Jim, he was with us every step of the way. I'm glad that our friends felt him, too. Although they didn't get the opportunity to shake his hand, they, too, met him in every child's smile and every adults hug.
It's not easy to leave all that you know behind and travel to a 3rd world country, yet they all did it. That may say something about me, but I think it says more about them. My family and friends are what made this trip that much more special, and I can't thank them enough for being there with me through it all.
This journey continues...