Friends …. We’ve Landed! Blog #2

Friends …. We’ve Landed! Blog #2
November 9, 2022 Suzan Bellis
In Blog Posts

Well, you could call the flight experience one that took everyone to the edge of our endurance. Everything went fine in PDX, except for having to drive through a downpour to get to the airport. Thankful for Darryl and Forrest getting us there safely, knowing they were white knuckling it all the way. PDX checked in our carry-on bags all the way to Nairobi because they said every flight was full. We were happy as our backpacks weighed a ton. In Seattle they walked fast to the gate going from one end of the terminal to the other, only to have the flight delayed. The Delta flight to Amsterdam went great.  Once boarding KLM things weren’t as good. Suzan had a seat meant for a 10 year old and had a window seat with no window. What is it about European airlines and serving vegetarian food?

Part of our fun in Seattle was that Arlene lost her folder with all her papers in it that included her E-Visa. Luckily she had it on her phone and had not lost it while in Portland as they required a paper copy. Also, everyone had to show their COVID vaccination card over and over again. The icing on the cake was getting into Nairobi, and having to  wait for our luggage only to not be able to find our 5 totes. They had put them to the side and marked them with a big X and took Suzan into the Kenya Revenue Authority and took her passport until she PAID UP! They asked what the value of everything they brought and said she had to pay duty on $2000 which she responded, “NO WAY!”. They then valued it at $1000 …… then $500.  At a value of $500, the duty on it would be $360 (60% on value + fees).  Suzan started crying and tried to explain the purpose of the supplies only to be told the legislature just voted that “donations” were not exempt from being taxed. It is now 11:30pm and she’s been in the office for an hour and a half. Everyone was waiting on her including the drivers. With much explanation, pleading with the girl who she was talking to, she finally came down to $105 in duty tax. They didn’t get to Heart until 1:00am. They were awake for 33 hours.

Everyone got up before breakfast at 8am and then immediately unpacked the 5 totes and 5 suitcases that were loaded with supplies and tried to organize them all. Plus they met with Peter to work out the phone and transportation situation. Forrest has two 70 lb suitcases that aren’t even here yet as his flight was diverted back to Minneapolis because of a medical emergency on board which made him miss his flight to Nairobi. He was then diverted to Dubai with a 9-hour layover which gets him to Nairobi at 1:30pm but to Heart about 4:00-5:00pm due to the horrible traffic. Instead of Tuesday night he’ll get in Wednesday evening. Unfortunately this means Forrest will miss going to the first day events which includes the soccer game he was so looking forward to.

We’re thankful that we made it even if just barely.