It’s been 6 months since I finished the last training in Tanzania. In a way, it’s great to be back. It’s great to hear that people have attended your training and have applied that in practice. Before I flew in, my briefing said that they were ready to launch an open portal. Truly an exciting time to be assisting them with a final push.
I flew on Qatar Airways this time. I’m not too fond of Qatar Airways since the last time I flew via Doha airport, I didn’t like the experience entirely. It felt very crowded and I suspect that it was indeed very crowded. I had better hope this time, I was flying into the new Hamad International Airport. I managed to get some sleep the previous night, so I wasn’t completely groggy when I arrived at the airport at 1 am.
I tried something new this time, flying only with check-in luggage! Frequent fliers are probably rolling their eyes right now. I carry very little check-in luggage anyway and waiting for it didn’t make sense. The check-in process was quick and I was through immigration and security in no-time. The flight to Doha was a pleasant surprise. It was one the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner . I found them quite pleasant, though, I’m not fond of luggage racks on these. You push the rack up to lock it. I feel like these are more susceptible to falling luggage more that the ones were you pull the rack down. The entertainment system at my seat didn’t work. Or rather, the remote didn’t. That was a let down after getting a fairly new aircraft.
At the airport, I’d bought a copy of a new Robin Cook book called Cell. As always, it was an excellent read. I have mixed feelings about his writing. He tends to reveal too much too soon and then the reader tends to spend some time watching other people catching up with the plot. On the other hand, after that point, it’s entirely unpredictable and exciting! This one dealt with a smartphone app that would be your doctor.
At Doha Airport, I had just enough time to run to my next gate. In my hurry, I misplaced my glasses at security. I arrived at the gate for my flight to Dar es Salaam just as it opened. With my rotten luck, the entertainment system on my second flight completely failed as well. I figured I might as well read the book, but then I finished the book too soon and there was still plenty of time left over. I found a seat next to a kid where I watched Avengers (Don’t judge me).
There was a couple on a flight booked on a Precision Air flight to Kilimanjaro. It’s not their fault, but the airline canceled their original flight and scheduled them on a flight that took off about 20 minutes after we touched down. They tried to get the air hostess to give them the immigration forms before landing, but the airline didn’t have them on board. So, they were allowed to disembark with the business class passengers.
They didn’t have a visa, so they had to stand in line for that. I had time to fill up the forms and finish immigration while they waited. They tried to talk to a lady from security, but I’m not sure how much good it did. I feel sorry for them while also being a bit angry. They were a bit pushy. It’s not like they were going there to save the world. They had a safari booked. I figured out the stress-free nature of travel without checked in bags as I finished immigration. It realized I didn’t have to wait, I just walked out.
I introduced myself to the hotel folks who’d take me to my hotel and they managed to get me on a taxi that was just about to leave with another lady. She was from The Netherlands and working on horticulture. The taxi ride was about 40 minutes long thanks to terrible traffic, so we talked about our work and travel.
I’m on the exact same floor as I stayed in last time. Just a room further down the corridor.