Our trip towards Taita hills started with a long journey of over 10 000 km from Helsinki to Amsterdam (or Doha) and then to Nairobi. But aside from physically traveling to Taita we had been preparing for the fieldcourse by attending seminar for few months and some of us took a course called ”Geography of megatrends”. I feel like there was a lot more to prepare for this adventure compared to other travels I have done. We had to consider different vaccinations and possibly buy new gear for different situations (hiking shoes etc.). But packing was only the beginning.
Half of the group took KLM connecting flight through Schiphol airport and other half went through Qatar. KLM flight was the one I took so I’ll be writing about that, pretty uneventfult, trip here. Most of us arrived to the airport between 5 and 6am. We had seats around the plane and avoided everyone else for reasons truly finnish or just unknown. Most of us felt exhausted and got hungry by the time we reached Amsterdam, where we would have around 3 hour layover. I left others to find a sandwich place and took off to see the art museum at the airport. It was quite small but it did have small Rembrant on display which excited an art geek like me. Aside from visiting few shops we just hungaround and took it easy since we would still have 8 hour flight to Nairobi ahead.
On the Nairobi flight we were again seated around the place and didn’t get to bother each other too much. I watched the award winning Korean movie ”Paracite” and few action movies. Nothing really that interesting or mention worthy happened during the flight. Food was normal airplane quality and people traveling by the plane were quiet and respectful.
By the time we got to Nairobi we had been traveling for what seemed like an eternity. We still needed to go through the customs and apply for a visa, but our group had people that had visited Kenya already and they knew which forms to fill. The customs officer was asking me about the group and my profession but all of us got through without too many troubles, and no one lost a luggage, which meant clean socks to everyone. We had a driver to pick us up with (unfortunately uncustomised) Matatu, which is a small minubus we would get accustomed to during the up coming days in Kenya. It felt bit surreal to watch people on the streets of Nairobi late on Saturday evening, we are really in Africa and our field course was about to start