Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Burkina Flashback- Getting to Africa

Remember that time I told you we were taking a trip to Africa and we were taking our 2 children under the age of 3 with us?  Yes, I know it was 6 months ago, but somehow I never wrote about it and tonight it's on my mind.  For those who don't want to read the nitty, gritty, cultural details of traveling to a 3rd world country with an 11 month old and an almost 3 year old, I'll quickly answer your burning questions...
1) Was it everything you expected?  Yes and no
2) Did your children travel well?  Did they adapt to a foreign country well?  Yes and no...overall, yes, but they're small children.  They had they're moments...don't we all?
3) Would you do it again?  A hundred times yes!

Want to read the beginning of the nitty, gritty? Continue reading below...
As a single individual, I always traveled very smoothly.  Yes, there was occasionally some lost luggage or a delayed flight, but no big deal.  When I married J, I knew there was a chance that traveling could become rocky...or at least rockier (you should hear the travel horror stories his mom tells!).  And sure enough, after visiting 11 different countries, the first time I EVER had to run through an airport was on my honeymoon.  But that's neither here nor there. 

It started as we were checking in all of our luggage at the Dulles Airport.  It seemed there was some sort of confusion about mine and Doodle's tickets.  Doodle was traveling as a "lap baby" since she was under a year old at the time and our travel agency had marked that we were to have bulkhead seating so we'd have a bassinet.  After a few extra minutes, they cleared up the confusion and we headed through security. I was a little emotional (yes, tears, deep breathing, "this plane is going to crash"...okay, maybe more than a little emotional) as I thought about what we were truly preparing to do, but we made it through security and headed for dinner.  I was adamant that my kids weren't eating junk for dinner.  Not knowing what we'd be eating over the next 24 hours of travel (aside from the snacks and baby food "smoothie" pouches I had in my carry-on), I didn't want them eating burgers and fries before getting on the plane. So we headed further down the terminal for a deli.  Somewhere, I thought our flight left later than it did so I thought as we started heading back to our gate, we had plenty of time.  Yep, you all know where this is going.  Around the same time, J started thinking, "Hmmm...this is an AirBus that seats over 500 people.  They've got to take plenty of time to get that many people loaded and seated on a plane.  Shouldn't they be calling our flight?"  And then as we neared the gate, we heard it..."J..., A..., K..., this is the final call for these passengers."  What?  Wait, aren't we supposed to load early because we're traveling with young children?  We break into a full out run!  J scoops Bug out of the stroller and picks up the stroller to carry as he runs with her.  I'm running with Doodle in the Ergo (can't begin to give that baby carrier enough credit!) on my front and my backpack on my back with Bug's backpack in my arms!  We are the third to last people to walk into the hallway leading to the plane...and this is while we're still in the States...WHERE THEY SPEAK ENGLISH!  We make it on and get "settled," but certainly not as settled as I'd like. 

I'll leave off there for tonight, but let's just say that after that start, my nerves were a little more frayed.  What WAS this trip going to hold?