For me the trip started last Monday with a trip to Baltimore, my home town. I was delighted to have dinner with my friend Eileen McGrow. I always try to see her before heading to Ghana. Pappas restaurant on Taylor Avenue and they have amazing crab cakes.
After a short night in a hotel, 4 am arrives too quickly, and dropping off my rental car, on to the airport by rental car bus with my 15 pound back pack and four fifty pound suitcases. I planned to have a porter take my two-hundred pounds of suitcases with books and camp supplies, but God knew I would be sitting for 14 hours on the plane and could use a workout. If you have never been to Dulles Airport in VA/DC area, let me set the scene. Rental car buses do not drop you off up at the departure gates. Instead you are dropped off in the ground floor. You enter the building and are immediately faced with a giant 60 degree ramp that you must walk for what seemed like an eternity. By now my backpack was strapped tight to my back and all four suitcases were piled on a dinky cart. With my arms stretched out and my feet trudging one step at a time, Mask On, I lumbered up the never ending hill. I found breathing very difficult. Thankfully there was an elevator on level one to take me to level three.
Two hours later I paid for my extra bags. I had two. Becki and Zach had four extra bags. Boarding was relatively easy. I was flying Emirates Airbus. Unfortunately business class was out of reach. Again, God is so good. I had a window seat and both the seats next to me were empty. I could put my legs up. Six movies, two meals, and a snack later I arrived in Dubai at 8:05 am. Emirates gave me a beautiful hotel room with wifi but all I cared about was the bed. After a five hour nap, I prepared to meet my niece who happens to be teaching in Dubai.
Unfortunately, before leaving the states I began having issues with reflux. It seemed like everything I ate sent acid shooting into my esophagus, leaving my throat raw. I have had this before. It happens quickly but the cure takes a long time. Small meals, no alcohol, chocolate, tomatoes, onions, spice of any kind. Rice and graham crackers work the best.
We found a nice restaurant downtown and afterward we walked to a pharmacy where I could purchase over the counter meds. My throat was on fire and my head was splitting. On top of that, my sinuses kept dripping causing me to cough. That turns heads in this COVID world. Yes, I had a negative test before I left and a negative test when I got here. I know my body well.
I won’t bore you with the miserable night and the 4 movie flight to Accra. Upon arrival I was whisked away to COVID testing. Not too bad. Results arrived in 20 minutes. I once again drug four 50 pound suitcases onto a cart and headed to Customs. I explained about our camp supplies and the nice agent wished me God’s best on my trip.
Mercia met me outside the terminal and off we schlepped with suitcases in tow to the car. After a stop at Foreign Exchange to exchange money, I was safely in my room unpacking my meager personal belongings. After a great bucket bath, I was in bed by 9 and slept on and off for 6 hours. I am sure the house enjoyed my hacking up fur balls all night.
Becki and Zach arrived by 5 pm safely. With 8 suitcases, and four carry-ons, we hired a tro-tro, local broken down van used as a bus. Tomorrow we start our first teacher workshop. To be continued.