Tuesday, September 3, 2013

New Arrivals

I can't believe that this is the beginning of my 7th trip to Kenya. I've seen many changes over the years, but one particular change that stands out this year is the airport.  For those who missed it, the international arrivals terminal was engulfed by fire just a few weeks ago.

I had heard that we were being taken through the VIP terminal, where Kenya receives heads of state and other dignitaries.  I didn't quite know what to expect.

The first interesting site was deplaning on a giant staircase (watch out for hop-ons) from a 747!!  it was pretty amazing to look back at a 747 from the ground rather than the high-above-the-ground typical terminal configuration.  The next weirdness was that they boarded us on busses and took us to immigration.  Along the way, we saw numerous tents labeled international departures.  The departure gates are literally sitting on the tarmac under tents.  Turns out that immigration was also in a tent (which was donated by US-AID).  The good news is that it was adequately staffed: two people to take care of a plane with 400 travelers.  I was lucky to be in the middle of the line, and it only took two hours!  

The domestic departures have moved to a giant cargo warehouse, as the international departures have taken over their prior locale.

The capacity to adapt is what's really been astonishing about the whole thing.  With a few small cosmetic differences, the experience was roughly similar to years prior.  I arrived in Eldoret without major issue or complication.

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