Every day at 8:30 an alarm goes off on my phone that says: Listen and be patient. Patience is something I will need this year and I for sure needed it on my first day.
For some reason my phones Wi-Fi was not working on the day I left, so I had to figure out my way to the Toronto airport by asking someone in a McDonald’s. When I arrived I loaded 3 boxes and one suitcase onto two luggage carts. That was only half of my luggage. I went back to my rental car and packed up the remaining 4 or 5 items. Many people were just staring at me as I was trying to just roll the two cars in the same direction. Some guy mentioned that I’d be over the luggage requirement. Took some restraint there not to make too much of a smartass remark, but I said “yeah I’ll probably be over a just little.”
When I arrived with the second half of my bags, Jazz was there and immediately said, “We don’t have tickets.”
I go to the desk and they said the payment for our tickets were not authorized…
Ok I tell myself to keep calm, although I know I was notified by my bank when I was charged and we had a printed itinerary from our tickets.
I got on the phone with Pat who was cool and helpful instead of stressed. He helped me try to figure it out, but there was nothing else I could do but buy new tickets at the gate.
The ticket buying process took some time, then next was loading our baggage. I had nine pieces of luggage all together and Jazz had 6 so you can just imagine the stress I was having about money in that moment.
However, not only was that an issue, but now it was 11am, and I still had to return my rental car and get through security to make my flight which departed at 11:20.
I rushed to get to the rental car return, where the rental car guy was giving me grief about the tiniest of dents on the car. I said the car already came like that, and I had papers to prove it. He took about 6 of my 15 minutes remaining.
Next was a full on sprint through the airport. The kind of sprint you only see in the movies. In my rushed state I forgot to move some aloe to a different bag. It was maybe 5 ounces, but I got stopped by TSA.
That patience was gone, all I could do was plead.
“BUT I’M GOING TO AFRICA, DO YOU KNOW HOW EXPENSIVE ALOE IS THERE?!”
There was some serious desperation in my voice, and they granted me and my aloe mercy. I thanked them quickly and continued my sprint. It was only now that I realized I did not even know which gate I was going to. It was 11:17 when I found out that my flight was delayed one hour. I met up with Jazz. I was sweaty. I calmed down and a few minutes after we took a picture.
Only 20 more hours or so to Rwanda.
A few minutes before we boarded Jazz and I realized we would not be sitting together. That definitely got me angry, because a big reason why we took the same flight is so that we could get to know each other a bit. However, to stay on the bright side we both made our flights, and we would both be arriving at the same time so everything was all good.
Once we take our seats I realize that there is a baby one seat in front of me and two on the right of me. Its fine, I thought. I’m so exhausted I’ll be able to get some sleep. I was so wrong, they shrieked almost the entire flight, and I think I got 2-3 hours of sleep on the 14 hour journey. I definitely did not blame the kids, they were so cute. But I definitely wanted some more sleep.
After the first flight we arrived in Ethiopia, where our next flight was delayed. That worked out for the better though as Lisanne would now be arriving around the same time as us.
The flight from Ethiopia to Rwanda was empty, which was great and I finally got a much needed nap.
When we arrived in Rwanda, my first thought was, wow this weather is as great as everyone says.
We had no trouble with our visa, and did not have to pay taxes for the donated jerseys and shoes we brought with us which was great.
When we finally made it out of the airport the first thought was……. What now??
Luckily, a good friend of Shooting Touch, Paulin was there to greet us. Then we only waited 10 minutes and Lisanne arrived, and another Shooting Touch Coach (need to get name of him) had a car to take most of our stuff.
It was so good to see Lisanne again, and what had been a hectic time so far was finally going to settle down. Jazz and I drove to her house in a taxi and dropped off our things. Next we checked into a hostel which is walking distance from her house. Then Paulin, Lisanne, Jazz, and I all got lunch. It might have been because I had been eating airplane food all day, but that first lunch was delicious!
After that late lunch Jazz and I took a couple minutes to dip in the pool at the hotel. Then we both knocked out while Lisanne had practice. What a day.