We left on a Sunday afternoon, arrived at the airport in plenty of time and waiting to board our flight from CLT to LHR.
At time of boarding, our cabin crew had not been able to board yet. 10 minutes after boarding should have began, they get on the plane.
As we were boarding, the pilot makes an announcement that boarding has to stop so that the computer can be reset.
We settled into our seats and waited and waited some more.
Our boss, who invites leaders from the restaurant to serve on this trip with him, has done this trip many times and grew up in Africa. He let us know ahead of time about Africa time – it’s similar to island time or pretty much every other culture that isn’t dictated by the expectation of watching the clock.
So we joked that we were just already operating on Kenyan time, but we were more and more aware of our ever shrinking layover. Especially knowing that Heathrow would be busier the weekend before the coronation.
Finally away at sunset, Ben and I were planning to sleep on this leg to better adjust to the time change. We watched one movie together, ate during meal service and tried to snatch bits of sleep on the slightly toasty American Airlines flight.
Landing in London we had very little time to spare. We made it through screening and arrived at our gate with 4 groups already on the boarding process.
Our flight to Kenya was long and tedious. We ate decent airline food for being British airways and saw the Sahara Desert passing below.
Arriving in Nairobi, we stood in the shortest passport line, not the one for visa holders like we normally would have. The worker even moved us over to the UN staff line, and that is where they fingerprinted us and stamped our passports. The rule follower in me didn’t like standing in the wrong line. Clearing customs, which asked for different things at different points, we went to find our host for the week. Micah.
Most of the team was hungry, having slept on the second flight instead of the first. So we drove around Nairobi until we found a KFC with food better than you would get in the US. It was spiced differently, not greasy, and made fresh. Black Currant Fanta was our drink to try.
After that, we arrived at our one night stopover, the Windsor, around 11pm Kenyan time. The Windsor is a resort built in the 90s, but it is made to look like it was from the Victorian Era. Beautifully set in a forested area outside of the city, we slept what little we could after jet lag and 28 hours of travel, the very firm bed did not help. We dreamt of Africa outside and the adventure that was only just beginning.