Arrival at long last

From start to finish Lincoln to Addis Ababa it has been nearly 48 hours.  I’m tired to say the least and I’m quite sure all others in our group are fast asleep with thoughts of injera (traditional Ethiopian bread) floating in their heads.  The sleep is much needed and well deserved as it is not easy traveling this far on little sleep, sitting on cramped airplanes, and lugging hundreds of pounds of luggage across the globe.

As it is late, a quick narrative of events will be all that can be managed.  At 2:30 in the morning, the first of the group began departing Lincoln, Nebraska for Omaha to catch the early-bird 5:30 am flight.  All involved managed to make it and we were off to Chicago on the first of four legs to the Ethiopian capital city of Addis Ababa.  Getting to Chicago was easy and the group was filled with confidence only to be slightly disappointed that out flight to Washington D.C. had been delayed by an hour.  Yet, an hours delay is nothing to get too worried.  We soon boarded the plane with sights on the U.S. capital city.  An hour after takeoff, the pilot announced that the landing gear had malfunctioned and was not coming up, we were therefore turning back to Chicago, but not until we completed a necessary hour and a half of aerial circles over Lake Michigan in order to burn off enough fuel to make the plane light enough to land.  I could go into the details of our return to Chicago and our eventual flight to D.C., but I will spare you.  We eventually arrived at airport and hotel about eight hours after our original destination time.  It took us about 14 hours to get to our Washington location by air.  It tends to take 18 driving.

The program leader Dr. Mary Willis decided to make the best of our situation and state that there was no dissuading our attempt to see some sights in D.C.  As tired as the group was, we headed out to the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, and other historical locales.  Many of us had not been to D.C. and were definitely happy that as tired as we were, made it out into the city that night.

The next morning we awoke to the exciting but long flight from Washington D.C. to Dubai, United Arab Emirates.  14 hours in a crowded airplane is not the funnest, but is easier when on an airline, Emirates, renowned for superior quality and service.  Many in the group were able to cope by getting the much needed sleep, movie watching, and catered food provided by the airline.

Our arrival in Dubai was only to be met with the anticipation of our last 3.5 hour leg as seen below over the deserts of the United Arab Emirates, Oman, and Saudi Arabia.

Arabian Desert

The flight was easy but as can be seen most involved were done watching movies.

FullSizeRender

From what little we have seen of the country except for our hotel beds, it appears to have been worth the journey.  We have reached destination Addis Ababa in the horn of Africa and are excited for the coming days and weeks.

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This is only one of many posts to this blog.  The aim is to have a minimum of one post daily by students and occasionally by program leaders over the coming weeks.  Look for the next post sometime tomorrow Ethiopia time.

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