Sunday, October 25, 2015

The Brutal Plane Ride

I have been back from Kenya for a week. I already posted three days’ worth of safari stories, because it was so amazing. It’s not like the rest of the trip wasn’t just as amazing, it’s just that life and death on the Serengeti is what people want to hear about.

I read the posts I had written the weeks before I left on this trip and feel that I owe it to you to update you on my physical complaints. 
Heading to our gate at Chicago O'Hare 
The two eight-hour plane rides to get to Nairobi were brutal, as you can imagine. The first flight from Chicago to London was through the night and the flight wasn’t full, so I moved back a row so that Denise and I could each have two seats. The added space did not help me at all. The bursitis in my right hip screamed the entire night and no matter what I did I could not get comfortable.

We got into London in the morning and had only a two hour layover. Walking briskly through Heathrow airport loosened up my hip, but I really only wanted to stretch out on a couple benches and sleep for just five minutes. 
London Heathrow on the way home as who had time for pictures on the way there. 
By the time we were halfway from London to Nairobi, I was beginning to shut down mentally as well as physically. The lack of sleep was giving me a headache and making me sick to my stomach. The steward kept asking if he could get me anything but all I wanted was to get off the plane. Not happening at 30,000 feet.

Arriving in Kenya, I was on autopilot, following the crowd through the airport, customs and baggage claim. Denise, my partner in crime on this trip, kept me upright. I don’t think she realized how stressed I was and that I would have had a total meltdown if she hadn’t been along. Actually, honestly, I would have cancelled the whole trip at the last minute if it hadn’t been for her. So glad that didn’t happen.

Our ride, Tony, was waiting for us just outside and as late as it was, we were greeted with smiles at the volunteer house. I loaded up on ibuprofen, Benadryl and Zanax and crawled into what had to be the most comfortable bed in all of Kenya. Eight hours later, I was awake and feeling good.
No more headache or stomach ache. An ache continued in my hip during the entire stay, but it wasn’t enough to slow me down. I could move better than I had in the past two weeks.
I loved being back in the neighborhood, where these faces greeted us every day. 

Kenya was apparently all I needed.


Denise said...

It was having to go through all the security that was brutal. I wasn't about to let you give in, I knew Kenya would be good for both of us.

Chris Loehmer Kincaid said...

And you kept up my good humor by all the noise you made listening to movies on the plane.

Beth Camp said...

Thank you for sharing these adventures . . . even this brutal flight. I remember the return flight for us from Tanzania . . . we counted some 48 hours from door to door (all without sleep). But you write beautifully of the trip, taking us right with you. So good to have you home.

Chris Loehmer Kincaid said...

Thanks, Beth, it's always good to hear from someone who has been in the air travel trenches. It makes us appreciate a bed, any bed.