Monday, 19 April 2010

fiasco of enormous proportions

i am laying in my bed at the norfolk hotel in nairobi without my luggage. i just arrived about an hour ago. i left friday night to get here. the volcano in iceland changed the course of this trip considerably. this is a quick summary of how i got here.

thursday evening at a reception for our office's H1N1 "non-traditional vaccine site" grantees john asked me if i was worried about traveling the next day. a large delegation of people were supposed to come to kenya and zambia to check on our safe water projects and make sure they were running smoothly and felt connected; see the HIV free generation work, particularly their work on health asset mapping so that we could import the "technology" to the US; and finalize a deal with UNICEF to partner with us in expanding our safe water work. the large delegation ended up being whittled down to just me and john (from emory university). this was just fine by me because john is a fantastic travel buddy and we have a great time together.

the faith-based and community
H1N1 flu team
alexia, me, stephanie, scott

i had been so swamped with work that i hadn't read the newspapers and was not aware of the volcano that had erupted in iceland. john told me about it thursday night. on friday morning i called delta after reading that the airspace over europe was closed. john and i were flying from atlanta to amsterdam and then amsterdam to nairobi. at about 10:am we both stepped out of our meeting and started making calls to delta to see if we could be rerouted.

just after learning of the volcano
me, alexia, sandy, john, melane, stephanie

i was on the phone for 2 hours with delta. i left no stone unturned. we explored flying to dubai, mumbai, tel aviv, tokyo, rio, moscow, seoul, bangkok, hong kong, sydney, all hubs on the african continent, and i am sure there are more i can't remember. i ended up being routed through buenos aires where i had 36 hours to hang out, then capetown, jo'burg, and finally nairobi.

john was not able to be rerouted. they offered to refund his money, but because he was in a lower class of service, they wouldn't do for him what they were doing for me. it is so weird how at the airport the class system is so alive and well and not only that so in your face. so "low-class john" (who is so much higher class than i am outside of the airport) stayed home.

i got to buenos aires without sleeping . . . i couldn't get any sleep on the plane for some reason.

this is the first photo i took in buenos aires
i love the "we ran out of funding and just stopped making the highway, highways!

i stayed in san telmo
this was a block from my hotel

i rented a bike and tootled around
for some reason my stupid computer
ate my favorite photos of me on the bike and the bike itself
it was orange!
had a big basket in front!

cool bridge alert


look! it's bella's sister

he looks so sad here,
but also just tired
if he didn't have the crown of thorns on his head
making blood drip down his body,
i would say i totally relate to His sentiment!
sometimes you just have to let go and let whatever is going to happen, happen

this whole biking system was AWESOME!!!
i want DC to do something like this...
it is built for commuters and tourists
and it is awesome!

i also really love all the big and open green space in buenos aires!
i wish the people who keep deciding to put museums on the mall,
but not fix it up would
take some cues from buenos aires!

thinking of the TD's, Didi and Mimo!

i also love this huge shrine to the flower and stamens!

i just got my dinner so i am off. i also just realized that for some lame reason i paid $77 for dinner. i didn't check to see the conversion of shillings to a dollar . . . i think i gave the guy who brought my dinner $20 on accident. oh well, i am chalking it up to one of those days. so peli peli prawns, french onion soup and a salad does not a $77 dollar meal make.

also, learned that my luggage is in jo'burg . . . so hopefully i should get it sometime tomorrow . . .

for some reason, i thought of the video below . . . it made me laugh . . .

1 comment:

Heidi's Hodgepodge said...

Bummer about the airline/volcano stuff. But on the plus side... I LOVE your cute dresses! You look smashing!

We just watched Monty Python and the Holy Grail last night with the kids. They didn't quite appreciate the humor like me and Josh did!