After enjoying a final breakfast buffet complete with custom omelet and flakey chocolate rolls, we were picked up before the appointed time and whisked to the airport. We tend to feel a bit leery about schedules, and punctuality and efficiency in third world counties. However, while most of the folks doing the work in Dubai come from third world countries, they've drunk the Kool-aid. They know if they don't do a great job, they are easily replaced. Emirates Airlines is obviously THE major carrier here. It has so many ticket counters, there were no lines. A very pleasant experience. The plane was full, mostly of African looking folks that appeared to be on their way home. A great meal complete with wine, five hours in the air, and it was wheels down in Nairobi.
It was no surprise that this airport was less comfortable and efficient; it took forever for the customs agent to type our passport numbers AND the visa numbers into his cell phone. If he had a computer, it wasn't working. Despite that long wait, there was another at the carousel as the bags trickled in. Ken's was among the last - always a tense experience. It was great to see David, the man from the hotel holding a sign with our name on it. He said that the traffic was light today, since it was a holiday, celebrating Kenya's independence from Great Britain. Along the garbage strewn route, people were selling clothing, shoes and housewares by laying them out for all to see on the muddy ground - quite different from the retail experience we had just left.
Hotel staff greeted us as if we were royalty, offering scented towels and mango juice, while they explained how things work here. We ordered dinner immediately, even though it was three hours before we planned to eat. This guaranteed that it would be ready immediately and so it was. We seem to be the only people here tonight; the rest of ongoing won't arrive until10pm tomorrow. We still haven't totally gotten over jet lag, but we'll be far ahead of them.