I had a fifteen hour plane ride from DC to Ethiopia, in which I was the lucky girl who was seated in a spot with a broken TV and a broken light. When we finally arrived in Ethiopia the entire plane was nervous because we were over a hour late, and we had connectors to catch. I tried to comfort a few younger girls from the states by assuring then since our connector was the same airline we were on, the gate should be close.
We stepped off the plane, and instead of a bustling airport filled with movement and mutterings, we found empty hallways filled with nothing except about 50 Ethiopian Air workers. The halls were not silent for long. Immediately all 50 of the men started shouting out countries in Africa and flailing their arms in various directions. It was the most chaotic, yet amusing, scene you can imagine. Then, if 50 people simultaneously yelling wasn’t crazy enough, they started inquiring with each of us where we were going. This was my experience. Me “Mombasa?” Employee “Ummm…stand right here” (pointing beside him) So I stand. Another man yells at me “where to?” Me: “Mombasa” Him: “Stand over there” (pointing to an adjacent hall) This goes on for 10 minutes, to the point that one really enthusiastic gentleman actually has me and another Mombasa bound passenger board the wrong plane. I finally walk up to three workers and ask where to go and they all three point in different directions.
At this point all I can do is laugh. Hysterically. I’m standing in empty corridors now, and it’s still the most chaos I’ve ever seen. 50 men, but not a single sign! No gate is labeled, you’re just ushered from one worker to the next. Each of them is holding a list, however their lists seem to be completely different.
Well, eventually I did make it to Kenya. But I will never forget that first experience with Africa. I am still laughing about it.
This is the view from my beautiful hotel for the night! Tomorrow, off to the island.