We arrived at the airport in Nairobi, Kenya, around 7:30 Sunday evening. It would have been 11:30 am at home.
Getting through immigrations was the first time on the trip that I was nervous. Maybe I watch too much TV or just plain have too active an imagination, but I was so afraid we would be detained. On the plane, they gave us our visas to fill out and I was so worried that I had filled something out wrong on it. As the immigrations person looked at Val’s passport and mine, I was waiting for him to motion over a guard to take us away for questioning. Because, if you know us at all, you realize what suspicious characters Val and I are. I think it was mostly because it was the first time we were separated from the team; everyone else was either waiting their turn behind the designated line on the floor 20 feet behind us, or they had been ushered off already to the baggage claim.
The man at the desk, however, stamped our passports without ceremony and pointed us to the stairs.
At the bottom of the stairs, there seemed to be a lot of chaos. Mostly it was the large number of people from our flight waiting in too small an area for their luggage to arrive.
Jen and Dave instructed us to each grab a cart as we waited for the luggage. Since they were moving to Africa to become fulltime missions, their luggage consisted of 12 large Rubbermaid totes. By yet another miracle the totes all arrived, along with almost everyone else’s belongings. Amanda the teenager from New England was the only one whose luggage hadn’t made it.
We loaded all of the baggage onto the carts. Dave and the people who were going to take us to our destination talked to the customs agents and cleared all of our possessions without inspecting anything. Which was good but that meant that when it was time to go, all 15 of us pushing 10 carts full of luggage between us had to be ushered out the door at one time.
“Let’s go, let’s go,” Dave and the others shouted to us. I pushed my cart as fast as I could, but ran into resistance. A small blond boy, traveling with his parents, had walked in front of me. With the load I had, I hadn’t seen him and had run into him, knocking him over. I felt so bad. But still, I was being called to, “let’s go, let’s go”.
So if there is a boy out there, American or possibly European, and you were around 6 years old in 2006 and remember being run over by some crazy lady at the Nairobi airport, it was probably me. And to this very day, I am still sorry about it.