I am not what you would call a ‘seasoned’ traveller but I have had the opportunity to travel to at least 5 countries around the world. However, nothing would have prepared me enough for the journey to the USA!
Let’s start with getting the visa. We have all heard stories of how getting a visa to the USA is ‘difficult’ and I must say, these exaggerated accounts are what ran through my mind as I woke up on the day of my interview.
The imposing building that is the Embassy in Gigiri, the pacing of heavily armed security officers and the constant signs reminding us that we were being watched did not help with calming my nerves. An hour and a half later, finally through the numerous security checks, I was inside the hall. Queuing as I waited my turn, I could not help but eavesdrop on other applicants interviews.
Some questions and responses alike were really humorous they could not be seen. and I watched as applicants left the interview counters, some with pink, others with blue pieces of paper, the blue ones happily displayed, and the pink wants quickly folded and tucked into places where Next! It’s my turn.
I confidently strutted to the counter, my documents at hand, very well organized, ready for ‘battle’. 30 seconds later, I had the blue piece of paper, my visa interview was successful. Ok. That was easier than I thought.
3 weeks later, I am at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA), and as usual earlier than necessary. How do you prepare for such a long flight? I had a 6 hour flight to Doha, from where I was to connect to my 13 ½ hour flight to Boston, USA. 4 movies later, a season of ‘Big Bang Theory’ and ‘Friends’ each, we were preparing to land in it was really cold, about 5 degrees Celsius. Ouch! Not what I am used to.