Sunday, July 27, 2008
Getting to Chicago.
Getting back to the United States was more complicated and grueling than getting to Kigali. The bus came to pick everyone up more than an hour too late. But somehow we still got to the airport on time. Family and friends of the Rwandan girls came to say good bye and bon voyage to everyone. We said thanks to our guides and our bus driver and were on our way to get our boarding passes. In Rwanda people are never in hurry, so it took quite a log time for everyone to even get through the line. Somehow Liz and Ketija and one of the Rwandan chaperones were the last ones from the group to get to the booth and we came to find out that the flight had been overbooked and there were no more seats available. The plane was ready for take off but the whole group wasn't able to board. So Linda, Mardge and Félicité were running around and doing everything possible to get us on the same flight. Thanks to their determination Liz and Ketija got on the plane! Unfortunately Félicité did not get on the flight. She had to take the next flight that was the next day.
After the first leg of our flight, everyone was happy to land in Nairobi. This was the first airplane flight for many of the Rwandan girls, but everyone seemed to enjoy it. In the airport we had a few hours until our next flight so we had some free time. The Chicagoans did some more souvenir shopping. We also had a group discussion about our experience in Rwanda and what we anticipate in Chicago.
Our flight to Paris seemed long but comfortable enough. Again, we spent quite a few hours in the airport. For lunch the Americans were craving some MacDonald's, so that became our next destination. But for us to get there, we had to technically leave the airport, even if the MacDonald's was on the airport grounds, so the Rwandan girls could not come with us because they did not have a visa. But they had a wonderful dinner at a café near by our departure gate.
Our plane to Chicago was delayed. And again we had some boarding pass trouble that eventually was solved. The flight back was longer than on our way to Kigali because of the Eastern winds. Eventually we arrived in Chicago, where we were greeted by some relatives and our wonderful host families.