Monday, November 26, 2018

To Kenya With Love, & Without Luggage

Nairobi, Kenya
What a journey the last 48 hours have been. 

If you want to skip this recap part, please feel free to head below to the next part about Kenya.

In case you missed it, here is a recap so you know why I don't have luggage when I arrive:
*Really quick, I had changed my ticket earlier in the day (the day that I left) with the airline KLM. KLM contracts out to Delta in the USA until I arrive in Europe, then I fly KLM. Originally, I was to fly BWI > NYC > Amsterdam > Nairobi.
I changed it to be BWI>Detroit>Amsterdam>Nairobi
I did this to avoid Dulles. Big mistake. HUGE. (Pretty woman anyone?)
Also, please note the Amsterdam > Nairobi flight stayed the same. Or supposedly.
You follow? Okay here we go.
-Arrive at BWI
-Delta desk man says I can't have my boarding pass because I don't have a visa for Kenya (that I don't need yet. You see, you do need a visa to get into Kenya, but you don't get it until you arrive IN KENYA). He goes on and on about how I'm going to get in trouble.
-I search for 30 minutes on website where I can't figure anything out. Call my friend, she confirms I don't get it until I arrive. She calls her dad, an actual Kenyan diplomat. He says he can call the embassy. This is ridiculous that we are almost about to involve an embassy over wrong information and a guy who thinks he is very powerful behind his desk. 
-I get back in line. Wait another 30 minutes.
-I talk to same man again, tell him the embassy will get involved. Oh look at that, suddenly I'm getting a boarding pass.
- Except I don't, because now he can't find my ticket. He calls the airline, I call the airline. They say it has been fixed. It hasn't. I find this out later.
He says KLM changed it in their system but not Delta.
-This continues for an hour.
- He finds ticket, while still going on and on about how I'm wrong about my Visa.
-He calls me sweetie about ten times like I'm a woman who is just so stupid.
-Finally with an hour to go he finds what he needs, yells "good luck with that visa sweetie" (Sarcasm), then I get to security.
- I wait at the gate, go to board. 
STOP! They say the same as the man, I don't have a ticket.
-Everyone has now boarded, I'm sure I'm about to miss this flight. 
-The desk lady tells me "this is not my problem, I have other flights to deal with, oh well"
- At this point I let her know very sharply and loudly with many people watching, that it is in fact, her problem, since they messed it up and my luggage is about to leave without me and this is not okay.
- She eventually lets me on.
-The plane now needs fuel. This puts us behind by almost 45 minutes.
- I realize I am in fact, now going to miss my connecting flight in Detroit, which was the whole reason I changed my flight in the first place, which messed up everything, and here we are.
-It was a stressful flight.
- I arrive, everyone takes their sweet time getting off the plane and I have 5 minutes before my connecting flight takes off. I realize I am 5 gates away.
- I run harder than ever before.
- I reach the plane, everyone claps, I think I'm good to go now.
Arrival in Amsterdam
-I arrive in Amsterdam, sit at the gate, then prepare to board.
- They scan my boarding pass.
NO GO.
- DELTA CANCELLED MY TICKET when they couldn't figure out their jacked up system. I am not the first, in fact Delta was going around screwing up alot of tickets.
- They rebook me and inform me, I will most likely not be getting my luggage, since it says my flight was cancelled. They are still able to get me on the flight though.
- I call my friend Maria that I'm meeting in Kenya and my mom franticly. My mom looks into my luggage.
-My friend buys me stuff that I will need upon arrival (since I'm arriving at 10pm).
- I don't have any meds that I need, I had so many herbal supplements, antibiotics, and MG meds (plus inhaler) I was afraid of them confiscating at customs. 
I panic for the next 8 hours.
-When I arrive, mom informs me I'll be getting my luggage the next day.
Okay. I can deal with that.
Getting my luggage is another long story but yeah....

So that's the story. I now have my luggage.

Now, back to Kenya.
Here is what I have learned on Day 1:

1. The two main languages here are English and Swahili. This is because they were a British Colony but are now a one party state (as of 1964 they are the Republic of Kenya).
2. Anywhere you go, you will get a scan for security, bags checked, and metal detector.
This includes the mall, stores, and anywhere else. If you go to the airport, you get out of your car, and get searched.
3. You can get antibiotics over the counter. You just tell them what you need and they hand it over like Advil.
4. You can get free medical care at the mall.
5. You can buy a memory foam mattress for as low as $35.
6. Power outages are quite common, but no one really knows why. If you happen to be getting a pedicure and the lights go out, nothing stops. I found this really funny.
7. The currency can be figured out by dividing by 100. So if something is 1000 shillings, it is $10.
8. Tips are not expected at restaurants (of course we still do).
9. Uber is like $10 for a 40 minute drive.
10. Eggs are not refrigerated (similar to Europe).
11. Kale is chopped up for you when you buy it at a market.
12. Giraffes can in fact, head butt.
13. If you attempt to feed a giraffe by keeping your hand flat instead of using your fingers, they wrap their long tongue completely around your hand. I saw this happen to someone. 
14. Everyone is extremely nice and accommodating.


To see photos- check out my stories! I'll be saving them as well on my highlights. 
Oh and I have been VLogging!

Thank you so much to all of my friends and well wishers who saw my travel struggle. 
You helped so much! Thanks to Maria for having things to me when I arrived.
I have to tell you, even without my luggage earlier, I'm LOVING Kenya.

Tomorrow we leave for safari. 

Much love-
SBR










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