Sunday, February 22, 2009

African Safari 2009

Dear Readers, it has been some time since the last blog communication. Do not fear for I have not abandon you or finished with my travels. I have just flown into Nairobi, Kenya to begin my African Safari which will include return trips to Kenya, Uganda, Mozambique, and South Africa. This will be done in about a month. It will be a "safari" in the sense that "safari" means "journey" in Swahili as my friend informed me. This trip should definitely be quite a journey; and with every trip, I anticipate learning and experiencing the new whether food, people, culture, adventure.

The trip is already starting on a lovely note. For this month long journey, I am carrying a 21" suitcase, book bag (carry and roll), and a small purse. It is a proud moment for me and I feel quite efficient. In addition, I received a complimentary upgrade to world traveller plus on British Airways for transit from D.C. to London. I love the Brits and their airline--it is one of my favorites although navigating through Heathrow airport can be a bear. On my flight from London to Nairobi on Kenya Airways, there were hardly any passengers so I had three chairs all to myself--and being the petite one that I am, it was quite easy to lay out. It was the morning flight, but I heard from the agent that the afternoon flight is much more crowded for those thinking of travelling in the future. Kenya Airways is another airline that is not too bad and does give you a little more room in economy than some of the others.

It is my belief that you learn gratitude when you experience great loss and when you experience bad travel. It is the little blessings and comforts that you acquire that can turn a mediocre trip into an extraordinary trip.

On this plane for the first time, I took advantage of the in-flight shopping. I brought some decadent chocolates, 8GB USB drive, and a solar mosquito repellent. The latter is what I would like to provide comment. The item was obviously made in a place where the primary language is not English given that the instructions are not really instructions and has some interesting phrasing. The devise is a "hook type" with a solar panel and compass. The insert is separated into section entitled "Introduction", "Specification", "Suitable Use", "Conclusion". There is no information on turning the unit on/off, how long it takes to charge, cautions, troubleshooting, etc. Under specifications, it states "No battery needed", "Compass--to assist people (or student) to identify the directions in outdoors", and "Hook--can be easily hooked on any coat, bag or anything that you are carrying with you". My favorite is the one liner under "Suitable Use": "Holiday makers, camping, hiking, outdoor sports or just sat on the table". I am not sure who made the device since it is not stated on either the insert or the casing. This all makes me somewhat skeptical of its abilities, but at the end of my safari I will let you know if it actually works.

I just wanted to give you an update and a taste of things to come. Have a wonderful month in whatever part of the world you reside.