Thursday, June 19, 2014
After flying from KCI to DTW, with a small stop in St. Louis, I'm now sitting at gate A30 waiting for my flight DL619 to depart. However, that won't be for another few hours - five to be exact. That gives me a lot of time to sit in the rather uncomfortable airport chairs and write, because what I failed to pack in my two 40 lb duffel bags, about a 30 lb carry on and a stuffed-full backpack were books. Supposedly, I'm supposed to be meeting the group soon, but I have no idea how to spot anyone out. It's not like they're going to be all dressed in colorful tribal print, although I do have my South African laptop case that screams Africa, having a giraffe and elephant on it. Who knows, I could be sitting by my potential classmates right now and not even know it. How riveting. After I wait until 6 p.m. I'll board the giant Airbus (no, that's really what it's called) to Amsterdam. And, no, I won't be able to have a few hours to explore. I'll have just two hours to get on my next connecting flight to Kilimanjaro. These two flights in total will be about 17 or 18 hours long. This will include a lot of watching movies, a lot of listening to music, some sleeping and (hopefully) minimal talking to passengers around me. I hate small talk, after all. I just hope the in-flight movies will be somewhat interesting. I also hope I'm not sitting next to some giant, sweaty dude or a crying infant. No offense to large men and babies. I'll be leaving behind my house in Lawrence and two dogs, Spud and Copper, to spend seven weeks in Tanzania studying Kiswahili for my African language studies minor. I'm not sure if we'll begin in Arusha or Dar es Salaam, but the plan is to spend six weeks in Arusha studying at the MS-TCDC and staying with a host family (who I know absolutely nothing about) and one week between Dar and Zanzibar, an area that is about 98 percent Muslim. That'll be my first time in such an area. That means covering just about every part of my body in order to avoid harassment. I'm now at a loss for words, but another post before my flight this evening isn't completely unlikely, especially if I run into some interesting characters to write about.