“Wasn’t me! I swear!”
For most of us, a flight generally means anywhere from 3 – 5 hours on an overcrowded 737, that will end with nice warm weather, a beach and usually an accommodation partner meeting you at the entrance to your glorious resort, with a pre-poured beverage already in hand. For the Our Kenyan Kids travel team, the picture is a wee bit different. First off, 3-6 hours doesn’t even cover the first leg of the trip. In all, the trip generally takes roughly 22 – 24 hours, 16-17 of which are in the air. Planes are crowded, smelly and of course uncomfortable, but that is no different from the 6-hour flights, except that one’s tolerance level begins to waver after that first 6-8 hours. By hour 7 or 8, you become a bit antsy. You’ve already taken several walks up and down the isles, spoken to complete strangers, held someone elses baby at least once and began to actually enjoy the pre-packaged cardboard tasting snacks. At this point, we get a bit of a break. You get off the plane, stretch your legs, walk around a new airport, freshen up the best you can, in a bathroom that is at least a normal size, and prepare yourself for the final leg.
Here, however is when the questionable behaviour (for some of us) can begin. The mind begins to wander, and we look for ways to entertain ourselves. On our last journey to Kenya, I found myself in this precise state – more than once, but thankfully, only once acted upon.
It was Donna’s turn to pace the isles. We were about ¾ of the way through our second leg of the trip; folks were standing in the isles, chatting with other passengers, waiting for their turn in the bathroom, basically just trying to fill up some time with something other than staring at the back of the seat in front of them. As I sat quietly in my seat, Donna came by to chat a bit and then proceeded forward a few seats and eventually into the bathroom. The line up was extensive and so folks weren’t really moving that quickly. When Donna reappeared, it took her a few minutes to reach my seat, where we stood and chatted a bit once again, as she couldn’t really proceed, since the line in both directions was moving exponentially slow. When finally she was able to progress another couple of steps, (now chatting with Jo-Anne, who was seated in the seat directly behind me), and before I even realized what I was doing (keep in mind, that at this point ones mind is starting to find alternative ways to entertain itself), I reached out and very swiftly latched on to Donnas buttocks, gave her a sharp squeeze and pulled my hand back with immense speed.
Immediately Donna swiveled, shooting daggers at the elderly gentleman who stood directly behind her. His jaw dropped, his facial expression, one of complete and utter disbelief and embarrassment. At warp speed he threw his hands in the air and shot the most accusatory glare toward me, with a “what the heck are you doing?” mixed with “please save me” expression.
I was caught, and of course would not have let this poor gentleman take the blame for such behaviour a moment longer. I couldn’t help but burst out laughing, to which Donna responded with a giggle and we could visibly see the elderly man’s shoulders relax, the corner of his mouth rise and finally a smile emerged. After the initial shock dissipated, he saw the humour in the situation and laughed along with us. As he passed by my seat, he high fived me. The moment lasted but a few minutes, but kept us giggling for the remainder of the ride.