The observations and updates of a foreign service family. Will post our travels here as we wander on our diplomatic adventure.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

We are here!!!

She is a great traveller!
Dulles Airport

Left Brussels yesterday morning (7/31)...a little bit late but ok.Arrived Yaounde safe and sound from our one leg journey.Claire is behaving the whole time and daddy sat beside her.The plane was packed...it was to stop in Yaounde first, then go on to Kinshasa, so lots of people. Plenty of colorful clothes...a different fashion style here! and the smell of the strong perfume hahaha!
Flight was scheduled for another 7 hours...but about the time were start our descent into Yaounde, the pilot came on the intercom and told us that the Yaounde airport was closed! haha. Really. I couldn't believe it. He said the President and some VIPs were there, so we couldn't land. So...we were rerouted to Douala, the largest city in Cameroon and the economic "capital" of the country. We land in Douala and are told that we'll wait in the plane for clearance to back to Yaounde. About 1.5 hours later, we take off for the 20 minute flight to Yaounde. We finally land and get off the plane...start walking to baggage claim. As we're walking down the steps toward immigration, a local guy welcomes us and picks up Claire and tells us to follow him. It's Dairu, the embassy's expediter. Sweet!! We buzz through immigration without slowing down and get out to the baggage claim area...there we meet Keith, the other STS assigned to the embassy. It's great to finally meet him, he really helped us out over the past couple of months. So we give Dairu our passports and yellow shot cards and he disappears...now we just wait with Keith for our luggage to get on the carousel. After we collect our bags, we load them up on the trolley and buzz right through customs...no stopping with Dairu leading the way! Sweet! We head out to the parking lot and are met by the duty driver...load our stuff into the embassy's Chevy Suburban and hit the road. Quite an experience...it's dark now and there's not a lot of lights, absolutely no traffic signals and people walking along the street and no lane markers!Prhaps I'll donate 10 gal of white paint first and have them paint the lane haha but nah I dont think I wanna drive here.
It's a free-for-all when driving here...taxis, motorbikes, pedestrians. 2 lanes become 4 or 5. Most cars don't have working headlights or brakelights, or both. So we finally get to our house...it's already been assigned to us before we arrived. The guard opens the gate and we pull in and yes we have our own 24 hr security guard hah!Two local guy take turn on a 12 hr shift. The house is big and has a swimming pool but thats another blog to write. I'll post some pix later.
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3 comments:

Tingting Rimart said...

Looks like the Philippines to me....LOL! Hey, don't forget the pictures...LOL!

Lynne said...

Hey girl, nice to hear that you all got there ok...take care & my hugs & kisses to cutie Claire...

pretty said...

Wow!!You're in Africa my friend!!! Whats your addy?? Thanks for staying in touch. Miss ya here!

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