June 7, 2012
And so year # 8 (trip #9) begins—not without the usual snags and traumas. Last night suddenly confronted with a document I had to scan, sign, then email, ACH! What do you mean, my scanner’s not on line? I just scanned this morning and it was fine. %$#^&*%&$^@$. But…as fortune would have it, my interim house/cat sitters are so handy. Shari knows everything techie. She had to unload whatever and re-download it. Thirty minutes later she announced, “it’s fixed!” Oh my, that arrow dodged.
Earlier in the week my friend, Luane, who had claimed to be an expert packer, proved herself. I had all my things strung out over the “packing up” room—piles of pencils, underwear, books, gifts, plastic dish scrubbers (not available in Naivasha—not even Nairobi), socks, shirts, calculators, scarves (for the coming graduates) surely a kitchen sink or two. She arrived, shooed me out and 2 hours later it had all disappeared into 2 suitcases and 1 box. Miracle!
This morning, after an abbreviated hike on the hill with Kay, my intrepid buddy on many adventures, I attended my grandson, Ben’s promotion ceremony, advancing him from elementary school (5th grade) to middle school. It was cute and so well organized. Each child marched to the microphone to tell the assembled parents, grands, aunts/uncles and siblings “My favorite memory from Duvanek is….” One sentence, no more! So cute! The principal was articulate, interesting and succinct, all vital elements in any speech. In an hour it was over and I was off to deposit that last tutoring check then drop the box of checkbooks, stamps, the binder (with all the KH financial records) and various other vital tools at Kay’s back door so the business of supporting St Francis Xavier Secondary School for Girls can continue seamlessly through the summer.
Back home, Tito and Shari were so ready to help in any way, but wonderfully not in the way as I moved at warp speed through the house with last minute items to put away or add to my bags.
Promptly at 12:15 Barbara appeared to take me to SFO, while I completed the zipping and snapping and final organizing. Tito and Shari carried those heavy bags to the car, we buckled and off I was on this ongoing adventure. As we approached the international terminal it suddenly hit me. I was again going to my beloved Kenya. This is the day I wait for from the time I arrive back at SFO at the end of the summer. It always feels like I have a very long time and then suddenly it’s over and I’m back on the plane for the interminable flight home.
Because I am a silver card member of the Emirates Frequent Flyers club I was allowed to check at the special desk for special people. After hoisting my 2 free bags and one $140 bag #3 onto the scale I was about to receive my economy class boarding pass when I remembered, “Oh I was hoping to upgrade to business class, I have tons of miles. Can I do that?” With which she tore up my economy pass and announced I’d just been awarded a complementary upgrade to business! “Oh my God, Oh my God, it’s a miracle!” I was so excited, people checking in on either side of me looked over to see what was going on. “Is it for this leg, from here to Dubai, the 15 hour part?” I’ was still incredulous. By this time the clerk was laughing at me, but it was so cool. YES! I was to enjoy all the privileges and amenities of BC, EXCEPT I couldn’t enter the sacred lounge nor would I enjoy a car. A car? Who knew BC included a car? Did I care about the lounge? I just wanted to be able to sleep.
Then walked over to another desk to collect the chits for the hotel, which I had remembered to confirm yesterday. There was my old buddy, Joanie, “Hi Joanie, how are you?” Big smile. She remembers the year when I forgot to confirm my hotel. I fussed so much about it she finally fixed it for me. “What am I going to do, sit in the Dubai airport all night?” No, she agreed I couldn’t do that. But slowly I’ve learned the ropes, although the details are easy to forget from year to year. This time it was all perfect.
Next time from Naivasha—unless I have a memorable adventure on the way.
Love to all,