“ Mabibi na Mabwana tunakaribia kutua katika Uwanja wa Kimatiafa wa Jomo Kenyatta Jijini Nairobi…..”.
This is one sentence that I’m always super excited to hear . As much as I hate landing, Landing back home is a ceremony for me.Its one of those moments that I always look forward to and this one was no exception.
Allow me to take you back to December 4th . My flight is scheduled for 0830HOURS but as usual this flight is never on time and we end up leaving Nairobi at around 1130HOURS. Its my 2nd time in Liberia and unlike the previous time,I more or less know the flight time and I’m very prepared for it.
My laptops is fully charged with series to keep me destructed all through the flight.
The flight time from Nairobi to Monrovia is 9 to 10 hours with one stop in Accra Ghana and since Liberia is about 3 hours behind Nairobi, we will be landing at around 6 p.m local time which is 10.p.m local time.
Liberia was never colonized and one thing is evident, they have borrowed a lot from the USA, starting with major street names, currency , names of hospitals and state buildings.
The language of Communication, just like most West African countries is pi gin but they are quite friendly. Most of the time you will be referred to as fine girl and the men will openly declare their feelings, something that really made me uncomfortable.
As a foreigner it will be wise if you are accompanied by someone, be it in the market place , the city center or the beach. A guard at the Hotel once Mentioned, ‘This is Liberia!’ when I requested to go to the beach alone which boarded Palm springs hotel where I was staying. They would later find me someone to accompany me for a 5 minute walk to the beach.
Unlike the first time when I was in Liberia for less that 24 hours, this time I had a few days to explore Monrovia.
For starters, the Ankara fabrics(popularly called wrappers) are way cheaper than what get here and of very good quality, which was one thing that I wouldn’t mind sitting on a plane for 10 hours for. I also enjoyed the North Atlantic coast line which is absolutely breath taking from a birds eye view, I also loved the vintage look of the buildings bordering the city center.
Monrovia was my last travel for 2016 and I have to admit, this has been a kind year. I’m really grateful for the opportunity to visit different countries. A part of my Job that is quite interesting. I have learnt a lot and definitely learnt to appreciate the little things we take for granted. I have also learnt to appreciate my country, we are truly blessed.
Its amazing how we don’t realize this and until you sit next to a person in a plane, who wishes they were born Kenyan, or they just had a bit of Kenyan rubbed in them. How people are excited when you say you are Kenyan and try so much to mention things about Kenya, how they would love to live here and how proud they are to see Kenya Airways in different parts of the world.
God willing, next year we are at it again and I proudly carry my Kenyan passport which defines my identity as I proudly fly the Pride of Africa :-).