A look….it’s a real airport! Day 1-3

22 hours and 3 planes later I’m back!

You know that feeling where you think you’re missing something even though you have checked and double checked? Well, this daunting image of my “for the village” shorts hanging there in my room to dry flashed in front of my eyes as we crossed the Granville Bridge.  We’re too far to go back but still so close…still in Vancouver.  I brushed doubt aside, hoping my brain was playing tricks on me, and replaying images of “REMEMBER THE SHORTS” on a sticky note.  It’s funny how your brain focuses on the negative.

Starting the journey on my own, I enjoyed having time to myself and not having to worry about anyone other person who may be sitting two to three rows behind me.  I start to challenge the idea of being more of yourself while traveling.  Wouldn’t you want a small reminder of who you are while you’re away?  I was reverting back to my introverted self.  I wonder if John will actually come pick me up in Nairobi.  I distracted myself by chatting with the two Swiss guys who were sitting next to me on the plane.  It was about time anyways; the obligation to chat with someone less than an arms length aside after 3 hours of silence was too much.   They had been in Vancouver for 3 months to learn English.

I wonder if John will pick me up at the airport in Nairobi.  I have no idea how he looks like; all I know is that he’s supposed to pick me up.  “It’s fine,” I comforted myself, “he’s picked up K before.”   The 16hr plane ride came to this very moment.   Oh how I wished I had someone there to share this with.  Hoping that through the crowd of heads and signs, I would see one that says “Joanne” or “GIVE” or even better, someone calling me for me.  I was yearning for recognition.

I casually walked past the sea of heads searching for a familiar name.  Nothing.

Wanting to be recognized, I wrapped my GIVE scarf around my backpacking being sure that it was visible to anyone who was few feets away from me.  Half an hour passed.


One North American couple probably in their mid to late twenties annoyingly shooed away taxi drivers scavaging for business.  They had missed their flight and were stranded inNairobifor couple days without accomodation.  I was there once-full of distrust and distress and thinking that everyone was ripping me off. “No, $100 per night for a hotel is too expensive inNairobi.”   After couple calls to John using a borrowed phone from a taxi driver who conveniently read my mind as he passed the phone to me reassuring that I didn’t need to pay him, I gave up.    Conveniently, a friend conveniently in Nairobi for the week called before my flight.

I know I’m back when I am graciously offered more food than my stomach could handle but being polite scarfed it down anyways.  Kisumu airport is no longer a one small building with bagguage piled on the floor.  It’s a REAL airport with a lugguage carrosale.  The government had been investing in patching up pot-holed roads and airports.

Well I’m back and it still smells the same.  This time though, I’m visiting friends and I forgot my shorts.

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