August 14, 2013

You See, What Had Happened Was... (part2)

Monday Morning, 9:20am (Kenya time)
Our flight into Nariobi arrived a little after the expected time of 9am, and we stood on the runway waiting for a bus to take us to the gate for some time. After riding a bus across the tarmac to the airport and climbing a huge set of stairs carrying our three rolling suitcases, two backpacks, diaper bag and two year old, we literally ran with all our stuff all the way down the terminal to the very end and down a flight of stairs to gate 3, where we were told our 10am flight to JRO was. We arrived in time, the agent said, but she could not let us on because our bags had not been tagged through JRO. I explained that she could look in the computer and see that they were in the transfer crate and that we didn't need to go get them and go through customs, etc. and she refused. Very disappointed, we began the walk back to the stairs. A pair of men that looked like managers asked us what was wrong as we stood huffing and puffing at the bottom of the stairs, and I told them the lady wouldn't let us on the plane because of our bags and he said he would 'try to work a miracle.' After he looked at the situation he, too, said there was not time for them to get us on the plane, and our luggage. I told him I would be ok with our luggage arriving later and he said we owed money for the extra pieces. He put us up in the British Airways Business lounge (thank you Jesus) and connected us with a BA transfer agent. 
Monday Morning, 10am 
The agent said he would work out our luggage. He said he would go downstairs and physically move the luggage to where it needed to be and hand-tag them through to JRO then he would come get me and give me the receipts. Awesome.  I went back upstairs to the lounge where Bill & Owen were finishing breakfast.  I had a few bites myself then snuggled in a chair with O and took a nap.  
Monday Afternoon, 2:00pm
After our nap we woke up and walked around the lounge a bit.  Owen played with some of his toys and we snacked on some of our food.  They were serving lunch in the lounge but it was 100% African and with our nerves and stomachs the way they were we didn't want to risk it.  We still had not seen that BA Transfer agent, so I went in search of him, only to find his shift had ended so he just left. I was relaying with the Kenyan Air people (who told me they handled Precision, what our original 10am flight was booked on) and between the KA and the BA agents, no one would take responsibility or tell us what we needed to do about our luggage. (Welcome to Africa!) We went around and around in circles with them...
Monday Night, 9:00pm
... still going in circles with the transfer people of KA and BA... when yet another BA agent told us the Kenyan Air people would only accept our luggage if we went out through customs, got the bags, paid for them and re-checked them in. With only an hour to our flight leaving that would be impossible with our family of three who had already been traveling for 50 hours. The BA agent said he would go and help just my husband move all the crates and get things settled. So my husband had to pay for the transfer visa ($20), pay some porters ($20) to help him move the 10 crates (3 pieces were missing) and then pay Kenya Air $276 for a per/kilo over-limit fee. She was going to charge him $200 per piece (4pcs over since they wouldn't accept the 3 pc allowance code) but when he said that was crazy because it was more than the cost of the ticket, she changed it to per kilo. Bill made it back upstairs just in time for us to gather our cary-ons and get to our gate to board our 10pm flight.
Tuesday Morning, 12:30am
Upon arrival in JRO we got our visas, got all our crates (10pcs) but did not have our stroller, carseat or suitcase. We made a claim with Precision and moved to customs.  One man looked at me very sternly as I held onto O's hand, pointed at a crate and said, "Are there medical supplies in there?!"  I looked at him (possibly as if he were crazy) and said, "No, just clothes and diapers?"  "What do you need all these for?" he asked.  "We're staying for a long time," I replied.  He handed me scissors and instructed me to cut the zip ties off one of the crates so he could inspect it.  It happened to be the one that was mostly Owen's toys and clothes.  He seemed satisfied and moved onto the 2nd crate.  Again it had some of Owen's toys on top, a few kitchen items, and clothes.  He was convinced and sent us through without opening any other pieces.  Thank. You. Jesus.  We headed out to the parking lot where Ryan and Peter were waiting and got loaded up!
Tuesday Morning, 3:00am
We've arrived at the Neuberger home, dropped our crates in the living room and are in search of our PJs.  At this point we are filthy, nasty airplane dirty but we don't care.  We just want a bed.  To lay horizontally with our eyes closed for more than two hours. We let Owen sleep with us and we are all out cold.  I've never slept so hard in my life.
Tuesday Afternoon, 12:30pm
We hear a horn at our gate and a car pulling in.  We wake from our stupor, rub our eyes and peek out the window.  The Street family is here.  We quickly pull ourselves together and get to the living room to greet them.  I glance at the clock - 12:30!  Holy moly!  I had no idea we had been sleeping so long.  Peter said Bryan & Mandee had come around 9am but we were sleeping, he figured 12:30 was a good time for us to wake up so he told the house mama to let them in :)  We were okay with it.  
We spent the rest of the day unpacking and getting settled.  Ryan came over later in the day to tell us precision had called about our luggage, two pieces were in and we could run into town and get them.  Our stroller and suitcase had arrived, but we were still missing our carseat.   
We continued unpacking that afternoon, then headed to Ryan & Stacy's for worship night.  We were exhausted and kind of didn't want to go, but I knew it would be the perfect start to this new season, so we sucked it up and went anyway.  And it was a great time of worship, laughter, and fellowship, and the Holy Spirit was so strong in that place - it was just what we needed.