Thursday, November 11, 2010

The final minutes.

I am sitting in the Nairobi airport after some rather tearful (ok extremely tearful!) goodbyes.

Now I feel at peace and am ready to get on the plane.

I didn't sleep very well last night. I knew I had to get up early this morning so I kept checking the clock every hour or so. I also had so much running through my head. So I was wide awake at 4am this morning.

I got to their airport super early. We crossed the city in less than 20 minutes when it would usually take 45mins. I got to the airport only to find that my bags were too heavy. I am so used to being able to take 2 bags that are about 23kgs. However, I get to the check-in both and the lady tells me that I am only allowed 30kgs in total. (Maybe it is a Kenya Airways rule since this is the first time I have flown with them) Yesterday, I actually purged some items and sent them to Mombasa to be kept for me when I return so I thought that my bags were pretty light.

So after the lady told me that my bags were too heavy, I asked her, "So what do I have to do?"

She just sort of looked at me like it was not her problem. The fact is that she really didn't know what I was suppose to do.

Ah yes, this is still Kenya.

She then says that I have to go to another booth to buy for extra luggage. She said it depends on my final destination. I told her I was going to Canada. Then she said she didn't know. Then she came up with a solution.

'Why don't you just take out about 3kgs and put it in your carry on luggage?'

I thought to myself 'But my bags are about 6kgs over the weight?'

So I opened my bags right there and took out a couple of my bibles (which are the heaviest things in my bags) and stuffed them into my backpack. However, it wasn't 3kgs. It was maybe only 2 or less. She looked at me and said, 'Ah yes, thats ok.'

If this was Canada, that would never fly. I just wondered how many other bags were overweight or how many other things are being looked over. But I am choosing not to think of those things and trust in my God. He knows what is on and not on my plane. He knows what is going to happen. So why must I worry???

My frustration with Kenyan systems hit an all time high yesterday when I went to immigration and told me that my work permit had STILL not been completed even though it had been 5 months since I applied and they told me it would be finished last week. I was so upset. I pushed my way through to some of the top people. The issue was that it had been approved but not signed. The lady who was suppose to sign it was sitting in her office with the permit right in front of her yet she wouldn't sign it. I don't know why. She was just being difficult. Maybe she was looking for a bribe. So I pushed and begged and screamed at the people to give me my permit and finally it got done. I started to feel bad thinking I went to far but I just kept reminding myself that I was fighting for my rights. It was not my fault that it has taken so long to get it. It is nothing I have done so why should I have to suffer because of someone's laziness????

I stayed in immigration for 2 hours even after they had officially closed. The lady who stamped my passport said I was the luckiest person to get this done. I didn't think I was lucky. A lucky person would have had no problems. I just decided to stand up for myself for once.

So I am leaving Kenya with a 3 year work permit (am only allowed to work as a missionary) with the ability to enter the country as many times as I want without paying anything. This is a huge blessing!!

Alright, I must get going. Looking forward to sitting near the window and flying over Africa! Hope I can see some great landscapes!

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