2 Kids 3 countries 36 hours
Trip Start Jan 22, 2008
49Trip End Nov 27, 2008
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Departing D.C.- Hopeful all the bad luck we are to experience on this trip was compressed into the first 48 hours. At the Air France ticket counter we learned that our trunks were too heavy. When we flew to D.C. on AirTran we had to pay extra because of our trunks excess weight but they were still allowed. On Air France we had to pay extra and 1 trunk was going to have to be lightened. So while we were searching for a way to shed some weight Lesley and I both found our super sharp knife by accident. So there we stood bleeding at the Air France counter what a great start. We ended up taking a compression sack out and took it as a carry on. Which strikes me as funny since the weight is still on the airplane but is now unaccounted for. Whatever makes the Frenchies happy
Security- I'm glad to know that our government is working so hard to diligently and intelligently protect the flying public from danger. Obviously a family of 4 U.S. citizens with small children is a major security threat in need of extra inspection. We were pulled out of line to have everything inspected, great fun.
Flying- I can't sleep on an airplane it's simply not possible no matter what I tried. Both kids had trouble sleeping on the first trip as well. Food and accommodations on the plane were pretty good (free wine can't be beat). The French are weird. If there is a way to make something inefficient, difficult, and just plain head scratching the French will find it. We land at Charles de Gaulle airport in a Boeing 777, which is a large state of the art jetliner only to exit the plane down a flight of stairs and ride a bus to the terminal. Everything is small, small airport, small cars, small bathrooms, and even small people. Can't sleep in airports any better than airplanes. Between the noise and no place comfortable I get maybe an hour of poor quality sleep. Considering that we were in an airport terminal for 12 hours the kids did surprisingly well. Then came the flight to Bangui another 7 hours in the air. Both kids slept well but again I didn't
Bangui- Holy smokes! Literally, when you get off the airplane the smell of a thousand fires strikes you, it's not bad just surprising. The airport was chaos. Not managed or semi organized chaos, just chaos. Took us 2 hours to get out with our luggage, which fortunately was all there. Imagine every movie you've seen about 3rd world countries and this is what you have in Bangui.
It's pretty amazing that I was able to function as well as I did with only 1 hour of sleep over a 36 hour period. I couldn't wait to get some sleep and take a shower no matter how cold the water was.