I am sitting at Gate No. 42A in Terminal No. 4 at Los Angeles International Airport. The plan had been tosleep until about 4 a.m., but I couldn't make it to there. I was up at 2 a.m. and finally rose at 2:25 and busied myself with repacking the camera case, checking and rechecking the still-charging new iPod and debating on whether to plug in the old iPod and bring it (I did). Then I figured if I was bringing some music I should also add my Bose noise-cancelling headphones to my carry-on.

Time marched on as it inevitably does and before I knew it, the clock read 6:50 and I still hadn't given Shadow a farewell brushing, nor had I hit the shower ‚ but at least I was all packed. Twenty minutes later, the dog was brushed, I was cleaned and dressed and we were piled into mom's rental car heading here to the airport.

Mom, who I sense is much more uptight about the trip we're taking than we are, was reciting the "God's Circle Of Love" prayer as we moved south at freeway speeds along the 110 past downtown, and gave us hugs and love when we left her at the curb to check in and get our boarding passes.

Despite pretty long lines, and us having to shlep our bags across the terminal to another long line at the x-ray machine, we got through the carry-on baggage screening and into the seats upon which we're now sitting in about 45 minutes. Now we're just waiting. To go to Africa. Actually to go to Chicago, then London. Then Nairobi. As best I can figure, Nairobi is about 10 hours ahead of Los Angeles. So if our arrival time there (barring any delays) is 8:45 p.m. on Sunday, that would mean it's 11 a.m. in L.A., which equates to something like 20 hours travel time ‚ 23 if you figure from the time we left the house a little after 7 a.m.

Fascinating stuff, isn't this? My wife and I are off for a honeymoon adventure to a place I'd never have dreamed I'd ever get to and I'm hung up on the amount of time were going to spend getting there Just trying to tell the whole story.

Susan's off to exchange some dollars for Kenyan shillings (which are different from Tanzanian shillings, I believeÖ and I don't know what the currency is in Rwanda, francs maybe?) and pick us up something from the Starbucks down the corridor, so I'm left observing the sea of traveling humanity that ebbs and flows before me.

Not for lack of trying, we didn't score an upgrade to first class at check-in. Susan says she's going to give it another go with the gate attendant once it gets closer to boarding time. For the umpteenth time, the recording has come over the public address system thanking me for keeping my bags in visual contact at all times. And now I'm hungry.

< previous | africa journal home | wildbell.com | next >