We disembark from the back of the plane, and my mind fills with nearly 12 year old memories of arriving for the first time, greeted by Uru Secondary School’s finest singers, dancers, drummers, feeling ill and overwhelmed at the time.
KIA hasn’t changed a bit. Only our time of arrival is different. This time it is dark, but the Milky Way spread across the sky hints at the continentness, the vast weight of land I felt the first time.
Kilimanjaro International Airport. Dark, woody. A familiar smell I can’t quite describe. Waiting in the queue to get our passports stamped. Anxiety fades. We can do this.
Waiting for our baggage I spot that Leah has poked her head through the door by customs. I walk over. “Hujambo, Leah”, I say. We get our hags and are unhindered by customs. We are in Tanzania! I am here again! It is all new for Yuki though.
No sign of our cargo. Leah says we can check in Arusha tomorrow.
Leah drives us in Mary’s pickup back to Arusha, and we fill each other in on what has been going on with mutual friends. Freddie Mambo has gone of the rails. Stuart Hardcastle stole his dad’s bird. I am sure I haven’t seen Leah in ten years.
Leah leaves us with Mary, who drives us to her house where we can stay. Mary has three sons. Her husband, a Norwegian, died. Her sons are 18,21 and 26. Her house is big and nice and airy. She feeds us soup and we chat. She has flu and probably shouldn’t have driven to th airport, but Leah insisted.
Ants in the (ensuite0 bathroom.
I think we may share with Mary, but I am not sure. The place is quite remote. But I just discovered we can recieve text messages with our mobile phone…
What will tomorrow bring?