Bon Voyage 9.25.2012 Part 1

March 13, 2013 in Roots International, Scott Montgomery by Roots International

‘Scott are you blogging?’  -Well no not really at the moment.  ’Start NOW.’

Point taken, brother.  Maybe I should start from the beginning?

September 25-28 2012

Ararat, VA

I woke up that morning in my childhood home and after saying goodbyes to my grandparents, I departed with my mom and dad to see my sister in Radford, Virginia.  I was surprised by my mom and sister with a necklace she picked out from a good friend which is made of very old and tiny rocks.  The rocks supposedly have protective qualities which Scott Eutsler personally can vouch for!  After eating at a Mexican restaurant I said goodbye to my younger sister and traveled to Roanoke to begin moving out of my apartment.

Roanoke, Virginia

After about six hours of hard work and giving away lots of things I was mostly moved out.  My mom cleaned once I did all that I could do, and we hoped to get much of the security deposit back.  By 11 PM I finally reached Martin’s Downtown in Roanoke for my going away get-together.  Since I was so busy moving out I was a bit late and even missed seeing a few people!   After talking with friends and enjoying some music, I then headed to my employer’s office to move out of my cubicle.

Once I had nearly removed all remnants of myself from my desk, at about 2 AM I began packing my bags for Africa.  I was not at all prepared to find out that my bags were all overweight by about ten pounds each!  After removing a few obvious things I then (due to being tired) found myself irrationally shifting things from one bag to another.  The next two hours were painful as I was forced to choose between taking more of less water filters, more or less personal items, more or less books for medical personnel, etc.

By 4:30 the Kissito HR Manager had arrived (ever so kind of her) to bring me to the Roanoke airport.  I then met my new friend Maegan who was also travelling with the company to Uganda.  We were able to keep each other company in between the flights which we enjoyed the company our Ethiopian and Ugandan row mates.  I was concerned about the strict rules for carry-on luggage, but I was lucky to have one of my carry-on bags checked for free before the Ethiopian Airlines flight.

Dulles Airport, Washington, DC

After browsing the airport shops we then boarded the long flight to Ethiopia.  Thankfully the seat beside me was empty but soon it was being slept in by the Ethiopian man in the same row for the next eight hours.  I was unable to sleep anyway for the entire twelve hours as my mind was too awake from the curiosity of what I would find on the other side.   As we approached Addis Ababa, Ethiopia I watched green fields below, mountains, and many buildings under construction on the edge of the city.  When I stepped off the plane it was about 60 degrees Fahrenheit which was a little confusing.  After some math I determined it was about 7AM local time and since Addis is indeed in the mountains that it most likely was Africa after all.

Bole Airport, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

When we landed I couldn’t find any food, but luckily Maegan had a pack of cashews which she was able to spare for me.  Since there was no salad or vegetables on the flight I had fasted and was pretty hungry by then.  We continued waiting for our next flight to Uganda and passed time by observing our Ethiopian, Sudanese, and Ugandan brothers and sisters pass through the airport.  I finally boarded the flight to Entebbe, Uganda after about 48 hours into my ‘day’.  While in route to Uganda I might have slept thirty minutes until the sun finally heated the plane so much that it was impossible.  Soon we arrived in Uganda and made it through the visa queue and were on our way.  Or were we?

Customs Agent, “What’s in these boxes?”

Entebbe, Uganda

To be continued…