Trip Diary 3: 2E Or Not 2E

According to Wikipedia, “To be, or not to be” is the opening phrase of a soliloquy given by Prince Hamlet in the so-called “nunnery scene” of William Shakespeare’s play Hamlet. In the speech, Hamlet contemplates death and suicide, bemoaning the pain and unfairness of life but acknowledging that the alternative might be worse.

That is similar to how I felt when trying to find my way around the Charles De Gaul airport (CDG) for the third time in my 22 years of traveling to Africa. I have not figured it out yet. Ask me and I will tell you it is painful and unfair. Trying to find your gate. Is it 2E OR NOT 2E? The fact that I am now in Kenya means I figured it out but it was not without some angst.

As I mentioned in a previous post, as I was preparing to board my flight in Portland last Thursday, I saw an internet story reporting that KLM (my normal airline) connecting Europe and Kenya, was shutting down their long-haul flights. As you’ll remember, I went on to Seattle and spend Thursday trying to figure out the next steps. I decided to reroute my trip through France. With a long layover on the new schedule, I figured I would have time to figure out where the gates were. .

When I arrived, I went to get a day room and take a nap. When I exited a few hours later I entered a vacated hall with poor signage. I knew my gate, K43, was in Terminal 2E. I thought I was in 2E but wasn’t sure. I stared wandering around in the empty hall until I found an escalator down and there it was, terminal 2E with a sign point to “K.” I headed in that direction, reached another fork in the hallway system and couldn’t see signage pointing to “K.” Then I saw a train with a reference to the K, L, and M gates. I reluctantly got on the train with one other passenger and waited. Finally, it started moving and, ALAS, it took me to the K gates. When I got to the K gates, Air France personnel sent downstairs (again) to get a boarding pass. Similar to Hamlet, I was bemoaning how “painful, cruel, and unfair” the CDG airport was but did not go so far as to consider suicide.

If KLM shuts down its long-haul flights for an extended period, I’ll have to spend more time trying to figure out CDG in advance so there will be no more questions as to whether I am in 2E or not 2E!

I put a map of the airport in the photo album.

Every step of the way, passengers had to show proof of a negative Covid test before boarding a plane. When I got to Kenya Sunday morning (Saturday evening in the US) there was another hiccup. We were all to sign in to the Kenyan Health Association online before arrival. I didn’t know that and had to do it there. I was the last to clear the health check. They supposed use your registered phone number to track you each day. Sorry. My number is a US number that doesn’t work here.

So, that’s it. I’m here in Kenya settling in. Nathan came by today and we went into town to exchange money and do discuss the week ahead which includes a Ministry and Preaching Seminar Tuesday to Thursday.

One no, two mores thing to finish this initial post off. Nathan and I went into town today to exchange money and do some shopping. Entering the market everyone has their temperature taken and has to use hand sanitizer. Everyone, according to law, are to be wearing masks even out in public. Many don’t. I asked Nathan about it and he said that if a policeman sees you and he’s hungry, he’ll write you a ticket and collect $5 fine to pay for his dinner.

ONE NEW IMPORTANT PRAYER REQUEST: Besides the normal health and safety requests, I heard something about a new executive order from the President requiring any of us entering the US from abroad will need to quarantine 10 days upon their return. If this is a hard and fast rule and if that means spending 10 days isolated from my family in some government hotel room, I would probably like to come back early to avoid this rule. Please PRAY that I avoid any required quarantine when I come home.

All for today.

By His grace,

Steve

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