It’s The Journey, Right?
Well, I knew it wouldn’t be easy. Or at least, uneventful.
First thing’s first. I should have sprung for the upgrade to economy plus on the 10+ hour flight from D.C. to Accra. See, I hate flying. And I really hate bumpy flying. And I especially hate bumpy flying when the only thing for me to focus on is a screen in front of me that shows a little plane over the Atlantic and nothing else. Business class does not need to put up with that and by the time the airlines get you seated the prices are a joke and just out of range to make a grown woman cry in public.
Given this is what I was working with I did what any good American would do and ordered a drink or three. The booze combined with the adrenaline dump from preparing for the trip in a matter of two weeks managed to knock me out for a few hours, but that was it. The rest of the flight there was me clutching my armrest, my “O” pendant and trying to focus on the snorer crammed next to me in economy. Good times.
We landed, three hours late due to some immigration issue for some passenger in D.C., which meant that my hotel shuttle had long since left by the time I made it through customs. See- who needs smooth planning when traveling abroad alone?! Really, it’s overrated. So, I grabbed a taxi, put on my toughest “don’t eff with me” vibe and directed the driver to my hotel. Should be easy peasy.
Oh no. Note to self: DO NOT GO MIDWESTERN when traveling alone. Because instead of taking the direct route to your hotel, should you casually ask your taxi driver what some of the can’t miss sights in Accra might be as a way to make conversation, don’t be surprised when he suggests that you see them all RIGHT THIS MINUTE and then proceeds to take you to the embassy, the marketplace, a couple of schools, and then, finally, your hotel. Just a tip.
Since I took the scenic route to the hotel I didn’t manage to get here until dusk. Throw in a logistical snafu with my reservation and the sun was setting on the Atlantic just as I was getting in. So no pictures today. Tomorrow, I promise.
In fact, there will be lots from tomorrow. I’ve got two hospital visits, a briefing with the health ministry, and something else my jet-lagged brain is forgetting. So tonight I’m going to review my briefing material, crack a beer, and call it a night. The exhaustion is making the heartache of being away from Kelly and the kids somewhat bearable but I expect that to pass. Tomorrow night Accra time I’ll have an update here and at Care2. Thanks for all the well-wishes and for checking in- it helps make the distance less and the entire “holy crap” factor subside, even if for a bit. So really, thanks.