Beginning with my first day of travel, I will create my blogs.  I discuss everything I did during that day, including how I felt.  Except for crossing over into Canada on a few occasions, this will be my first International Journey.  I feel excited and apprehensive at the same time.   

Today is the first day of my trip.  I will fly from Myrtle Beach to Atlanta.  I’ll have a two-hour layover, plenty of time to transfer from the Domestic Terminal to the International Terminal, which I understand is a new terminal.  I used to travel to Atlanta all the time so the airport won’t be foreign to me.

I spent my time on Friday packing and doing last minute things.  I had to run down to Best Buy to pick up what’s called a Travel Converter and Adapter.  Our country is the only country with what we call the standard 120-volt electrical inputs/outlets.  Rwanda uses 220 to 240-volt electrical inputs, which require an adapter for everything that plugs in.   I thought that was the case, but confirmed it was yesterday when I called Geek Squad to have them look over my computer so that I am ready for travel.  I have a yearly contract with them which means that, for any problem, I can call them from home and have them remotely work on my computer.  I love Geek Squad.  They’re extremely friendly, humble and very professional and knowledgeable.  During the last five years, I’ve never had a bad or questionable experience.


I admit I am a novice at traveling outside the country, let alone traveling the world.  I’ve driven across the Canadian border several times, but that’s it.  I have no idea what to expect.  That was evident two weeks ago when I went to my primary care doctor to discuss results from my yearly physical. 


As we talked, I told her I was traveling to Africa.  She asked, “Have you had all your vaccinations?”  I looked at her with a blank look, shrugged my shoulders and said as if asking a question, “No-o?”  She smiled, left the room and came back with a binder.  (Not the Romney binders!)   We sat side by side as she looked up Rwanda.  I left with prescriptions for malaria, typhoid and in the event I get a case of the trots.  Of course, Humana, my Medicare Advantage Insurance plan doesn’t cover malaria or typhoid medications. 


I knew I needed the malaria pills since Edwin made a point of telling me I needed to bring mosquito spray for part of my trip.  When I learned what the typhoid cost, I wondered if I needed it, so I looked up how one gets typhoid. Once I found out, I thought, I sure don’t want to become known as the modern-day Typhoid Mary!  I picked it up today.  I’m just happy I had to go to the doctor because I would have traveled never thinking about vaccinations.  LOL


Once I arrive in Atlanta, I have a two-hour layover.  I have a concern.  The international leg of my trip was made separate from my domestic leg.  Having confronted this situation in the past, I worried that I would have to rush down to baggage claim to pick up my luggage and recheck them with Turkish Airlines.  So, one day last week, I went to the Myrtle Beach airport to talk to one of the Delta agents.  She assured me that, when I check in here, I should discuss my international tickets with the agent.  He or she will be able to marry the two legs, so I don’t have to worry.  My two bags will be taken over to the Turkish flight. 


Although I didn’t worry about picking up and re-checking my bags on my trip to Africa, I have less than an hour layover in Atlanta when I return.  What to do? 


Keep your fingers crossed for me that this goes off without a hitch.  I’m packing a few things in my backpack in the event I have to wait for my bags.  Yikes…I hope, hope, hope I don’t!


Today (Sunday) will be a long day.  My flight from Atlanta to Istanbul is an eleven-hour flight.  I have a three-and-one-half hour layover before transferring to the third leg of my trip from Istanbul to Kigali, Rwanda.  I arrive in Kigali, the capital of Rwanda at 1:25 a.m.  Long day!  I’m sure I’ll be pooped when I get there.


Talk to you all tomorrow.  In the meantime:


ijoro ryiza, muramuke, Bonne Nuit, good night!


SUNDAY, FEB. 11, 2018