I’m back, children.

That was creepy.

Sorry.

My two weeks in Kenya went by like a car on the Autobahn, but  I’m back and so I shall now begin the task of relating all that occurred while I was away. The best place to begin a story is at the beginning so that’s where I’ll start.

The flights to Kenya:

Much to the amusement of someone who shall remain nameless (Rachel), I sat about five rows ahead of my team. Don’t ask me why or how. The someone who shall remain nameless (Rachel) had no idea why the tickets were booked that way, but they were. My entire team got to sit together. They tried to comfort me (when they weren’t laughing), by saying things like, “We’ll switch with you!” and “Maybe you’ll get to sit next to your husband!”

I wish they had realized that my life doesn’t work that way. 

Even if I had gotten to sit next to the future Mr. Byng (oh yeah, that’s happening), I would most likely say something inappropriate because I’m socially awkward.

Here’s what the conversation probably would have been like had I sat next to the future Mr. Byng:

Future Mr. Byng: So where are you heading?

Me: Kenya. I’m going on a mission trip.

Future Mr. Byng: Wow! That’s really exciting! What are you going to do over there?

Me: Renovate classrooms and play with giraff-orphans.

Future Mr. Byng: What? Did you say “giraffes”?

Me: I have this thing with long necks.

Future Mr. Byng: (awkward pause) I wonder if it’s too late to change my seat.

Thankfully, I did not sit anywhere near the future Mr. Byng. Instead, I got to sit next to Lady Body Odor and Smelly Smelly I Am So Very Smelly. Correction: I got to sit inbetween Lady Body Odor and Smelly Smelly I Am So Very Smelly.

This is what it looked like:

Smelly Smelly I Am So Very Smelly Me Lady Body Odor.

And they were both cuddly sleepers.

For eight hours I had the song, “We need the funk” playing on loop in my head.

It’s a strange thing when you’re sitting next to smelly people. Part of you doesn’t want to believe that the human body could produce such a foul stench and so you start off believing that something else is causing the smell. It’s kind of like the stages of grief. We’ll call these the stages of stench:

1. Denial- “No. It’s the bathroom. That smell is definitely coming from the bathroom.”

2. Anger- “This cannot be happening to me! Why? Why couldn’t you shower? A Wet One on your armpits! Something!”

3. Bargaining- “Dear Jesus, if you provide Lady Body Odor with soap I will totally stop calling her Lady Body Odor.”

4. Depression- “He’s just going to start smelling again. A Wet One will only take you so far. What’s the point?”

5. Acceptance- “I can’t fight the funk. I may as well deal with it.”

That may or may not have been what was going through my head as I sat inbetween them for EIGHT HOURS.

I was really looking forward to our layover in London.

However, that lasted all of 45 minutes.

I had time to brush my teeth, take a Wet One bath, wonder why the heck British toilets are so complicated to flush, walk back to my gate, look at the board and say, “HOLY CRAP OUR FLIGHT IS BOARDING NOW!”

We honestly thought we would have more time.

We’re little bit stupid.

Just a little.

And as for the “We’ll switch with you!” comment, here’s how that went:

Rachel: So who wants to switch seats with Gyasi?

(Group looks around awkwardly as the sounds of crickets chirping in Calcutta and pins dropping in Guam are heard.)

Rachel: I guess I could switch with you, Gyasi.

Me: …uh huh.

To her credit, she did switch with me.

And got to sit next to a lovely young chap from London who I believe was called The Future Mr. Byng.

See, that’s my life.

My group then proceeded to fall asleep.

When I was sitting next to them.

So I made conversation with Safari Dave and Doris who were sitting next to me. They were headed to Tanzania and were very keen on going to the bathroom and noise cancelling headphones.

A word of advice: when you’re not sitting on the aisle in an airplane, do not drink wine, water, orange juice, sprite, coffee, and tea. Because if you interrupt my nap, movie, or reading time, I will cause you physical harm.

And committing murder en route to the mission field kind of defeats the purpose.

Unless you save the person you shank.

But I still think Jesus frowns upon that.

We landed in Kenya no worse for the wear and then waited in the immigration line.

And then waited in the immigration line.

And then waited in the immigration line.

And then waited in the immigration line.

We waited in the immigration line for a very…long…time.

I don’t want to sound like a snooty American, but part of the reason why we waited so long was because it’s apparently ok in Kenya to stamp a visa, talk to your friend for fifteen minutes, talk to your other friend for twenty minutes, take lunch, and then stamp another visa. Most people would consider stamping two or three visas before going on lunch.

Just a thought.

It took about 3 hours for all 8 of us to get through and then we had the awesome task of gathering all 21 bags that we had brought with us. Actually, I’m not being very honest. Rachel had the awesome task of gathering all 21 bags we had brought with us because she was the first one to get her visa.

God is good.

By the time I made it through immigration all 21 bags were piled onto carts. When I got to my group, Rachel pointed to the sea of people standing outside and said, “Look, there’s Brittany.”

Standing in an ocean of very tall and rather lithe Kenyans was my dear and wonderful friend Brittany. Brittany is white with blue eyes so she was very easy to spot. That and the fact that she was so excited to see us that she was jumping up and down and waving every two seconds.

Twas quite adorable.

Brittany lives in Kenya and we don’t get to see her very often.

Seeing her so excited to see us made my grinchy heart grow two sizes that day.

So really, the flights weren’t all that bad…

 

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