After postponing this for a month, I am going to finally share my experiences in Kenya-yay and the crowd goes wild! I still feel like the trip never happened yet and it’s coming up soon, but since I took the time to share my stories with my family and friends, I now have the motivation to share it on my blog! Yes, I’m still trying to adjust back home and even though it has been over a month, I still feel like I am in a different time zone. Without further ado, here is the beginning of my journey to Kenya.
May 7th, 2017, was the day I departed from Toronto International Airport to Kenya. Upon arrival at the airport, the group and I had to meet at 1:30 P.M to check in. Mind you, before leaving on the volunteer trip, I did not know any of the people I was going to be volunteering with. I did meet some girls via social media, however, I was still in my little shy bubble. Once everyone arrived, we checked in with our International Trip coordinator and proceeded along to one of the kiosks to check in our flights. This was the first time in a long time where I travelled with a group, so patience was key during this process. After everyone received their tickets, checked in their bags, and said goodbyes to their loved ones, we took one big group picture before making our way to security.
I must admit, going through security or customs is not my favourite part when it comes to travelling. Although I am grateful that we go through security and take measures to be safe, having to wait in long lines is the reason why I never really enjoyed going through it. Once security was complete and the group reunited, we made our way to find our gate. Upon arriving at our gate, the group decided to split up to purchase food before boarding the flight. Since I already had Phõ for lunch, I decided to stay back at the gate and got to know one of my good friends on the trip. Our first flight stop was going to be in Amsterdam, so I was preparing myself for this eight-hour flight. Since I already travelled to Europe beforehand, an eight-hour flight was not going to be too bad.
When the group met back at the gate, we decided to go around and introduce ourselves. Although a majority of us lived in Ontario, meeting people from different parts of Ontario, as well as across Canada, was pretty awe-inspiring. The moment our gate number was called to board the flight, this was it. I was going to Kenya. To utter the words “I’m going to Kenya,” felt like a dream. Yet, at that moment, I still felt like I was that little grade nine girl daydreaming in Geography class, waiting for this moment to happen.
It’s been quite a while since I travelled anywhere by plane so adrenaline was pumping through my veins. No, I do not have any fear of flying, however, I sometimes get nervous before taking off. For me, a prayer is a must before boarding the plane and another one before take-off. Once everyone was seated and the gates were closed, we were ready for take off. During the eight-hour flight, I spent my time watching Hidden Figures and LaLa Land; listening to music, and of course, sleeping- well attempted to.
After arriving at the Amsterdam Schipol Airport around 6:45 in the morning, I was exhausted. As much as I tried to sleep on the plane, I got little to no sleep at all. Although this was our first stop, I did not want to take another seven-hour flight. Since we had an eight-hour layover, I decided to purchase some food before attempting to get some shut-eye on the airport floor.
Stay tuned for the second part of the flight! It will get pretty interesting after leaving Amsterdam so you do not want to miss out!