After saying a loving and heartfelt goodbye to my family – all of whom came to the airport to see me off – I made my way through security and experienced the stress that comes from having to be in charge of your own passport and boarding pass. I am still five years old and do not trust myself with important documents. But nonetheless (as far as I’m aware) I still have my passport and so I declare myself to be a success. Once on the other side of security I managed to blag my way into a fancy airport lounge where I proceeded to drink five cups of tea and eat four exotic fruit cups. Ideal! Sadly I was only there for half an hour because I was so neurotic about the possibility of missing my flight that I arrived at the gate preposterously early. But that was fine as I met a nice South African woman who taught me some important life lessons. Firstly I should marry a surfer because they only need feeding and a pat on the head to make them fall in love with you. Secondly not being able to track your ex down on Facebook doesn’t stop you from pining after them 25 years on… even when they have a child with a different woman… and you’re married to another man. Thirdly that men lack the sensible nature that comes with being a woman so you will never be able to stop them from doing stupid things. I was so glad to have this wisdom before venturing into a new country. Feeling refreshed by my fountain of knowledge I sprang onto the plane and found my seat. Sadly the Kenyan Airlines movie options were a tad limited. Initially I thought I;d try to watch Megalodon because it seemed appropriate. What else would you want to watch before going to do 8 weeks of marine conservation volunteering than a submarine full of people being ripped apart by a 30 metre long man-eating shark? But the script was so awful that I gave up after about fifteen minutes. Instead I moved onto The House of the Future (a very sweet movie about a chronically shy boy who’s grown up in the middle of nowhere with his Nana who then forms a rock band with a boy who’s just had a heart transplant) and then Bride Wars, because sometimes you can’t beat a classic. I then watched ANOTHER movie (wild I know) so only got one fleeting hour of sleep right at the end of the flight. After we landed in Nairobi, I picked up my bag and took it to the other side of the airport to the domestic departures gates. This was when I ‘accidentally’ wandered into a lounge when the woman on the front desk was in the loo and so I don’t think she noticed… I’m really mastering this whole lounge thing. I whiled away the next couple of hours drinking more tea and eating more fruit (I think a theme is emerging) before getting on a nearly empty plane to Mombasa. This meant I moved seats and so sat in the front row of economy and luxuriously stretched my legs out in an attempt to convince my body it was lying down and thus lull it to sleep. It didn’t work.
Forty minutes later though we had landed in Mombasa and I hurriedly scooped up a Kenyan sim card and met Alice who drove me to the volunteer house. I stumbled out of her car and into the hot sunshine about an hour and a half later. I had arrived!