Friday, December 23, 2011

My Mother's Safari, part 1

My mother is always up for some exploring
My mother has decided to leave the cozy confines of Dushanbe, Tajikistan to go on a photo safari in eastern Africa. She went with no one she knows, and knowledge of no local languages. She did, however, pack her spirit of adventure.
As she emails me, I'll post her updates :
"Hi -

I'm in Windhoek(Namibia), at the Chameleon Guesthouse. Unfortunately, my dufflebag isn't. There is an incoming flight at 2 pm, and I'm hoping that it will be on it.

The guesthouse is lovely. Everyone is very friendly. When people found out that my luggage was missing, the manager drove me to a gas station to get basics - toothbrush, shampoo, etc. Apparently it is not at all safe to walk outside after dusk. Or carry a purse, backpack, or camera anytime.

A girl gave me sunblock.

I'm so glad that I'm staying here!

I'm having dinner tonight with 2 Peace Corps volunteers on holiday.

The flight here was awful in parts. Leaving Dubai, going to Addis Ababa, the plane was full of people who had come to purchase things in Dubai to sell in Nigeria, etc.

No Ethiopians, to my surprise.

Anyway, the airline tried to limit the amount of hand luggage people were carrying. So a whole group mobbed the jetway and forced their way on the plane. The first I knew of it, a security guard came flying down the passage way screaming "Close the doors!" and the flight attendants closed heavy glass doors just before the plane entry doors. With me on the wrong side! When I saw all the angry poeple approaching, for a minute I thought that I was going to be squashed against the glass. But the security agent was beside me and she was calling the police on a mobile phone and that slowed down the mob. Another agent came from inside the plane, and
they let me in.
But the departure was delayed for 1 1/2 hours while they cleared the plane of all the extra stuff people had piled on their feet, etc. The overhead bins wouldn't close, and people were fighting when flight attendants went to remove excess.
So it meant that I had 5 minutes to make my next flight. And I think that that is where my luggage went missing.
I'm going out to explore the town and buy a belt to keep my pants up ( they stretched) and a tshirt.
A birding trail walk tomorrow. What a great way to spend Christmas eve!
Love, MoM (Linny)"

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