Africa 2015

March 29, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

All prepped and ready for my return trip to Africa to Support Asante Africa Foundation.  I find myself in a strange state of confidence (having been to East Africa once before).  This trip will be different. First of all - I'm flying coach.  SFO - Washington, Dulles - Geneva - Nairobi.  Last time I was in the front seat of 1st class in a 747.  This trip is a little less expensive having found an airfare of just a bit over $1000.   Last trip I was the support photographer to the wonderful Heward Jue and Elley Ho.  This year I'm on my own. 

It's a beautiful morning in the Bay area (as always this year).  Thanks to Curtis Clower and Ellen Tarwater for the 6am pickup and transport to SFO.  I owe them another one.

I'm excited!  Long flight ahead but and some short connections.  United better be on time.

More when I get to Nairobi.

A quick post from Washington DC (stopover).  Stuck in DC with mechanical problem.  Delayed 2+ hours - .  Now rerouted through London connecting to Kenyan Airways and arriving Tuesday morning instead of Monday late afternoon.  Gotta roll with the punches!  I'm rapidly approaching Africa time.  ("Africa time" is not a time zone but a state of mind.)  life is good.  

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Date:  Monday, March 30, 2015

Location:  London Heathrow Airport, Terminal 4.

One of the remaining challenges with Africa is just getting there.  I don’t presume to be Dr. Livingston but the ease with which we travel to Asia, Europe, Australia, and the Americas has skipped over Africa (for the most part).  Maybe it’s just another in a long set of 1st world problems: 

  • My seat upgrade to London didn’t come through, even though I have 1.6M miles on United, I’m premier gold status (Should be named “Pyrite status”), there were 17 empty seats in Business class, I got help from United Corporate HQ in Chicago (I was in DC – the help almost worked).
  • They didn’t have Diet Dr. Pepper even in Heathrow airport (Don’t dieting Texan’s travel?),
  • I can’t get the automatic hand driers to work in the bathrooms (I can’t get my hands wet either since I can’t get the hand sensors in the sinks to work either – the automatic sensors must think I’m dead).
  • Asking for tap water in London must be an offensive request.  I didn’t mean any offense to the warm beer (I swear).
  • The free internet at Heathrow expires after 4 hours (not the right time limit for a 10 hour layover)
  • To register for an extended free time on their wifi network you have to be connected to wifi – the ultimate catch 22 of the internet age.  Now they have all my personal data and I still have no internet connection.

London Heathrow is always an interesting place.  It seems to be the hub of the world’s airlines.  The mix of people traveling is remarkable even if this is just the upper 10%. 

It’s hard to complain so I won’t.  I just wanna get there and get to work.  A little restful sleep might be nice too – the benches in Heathrow are as comfortable as the new seats on United.

Life is good.


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