Dec 15, 2013

Saturday Arrival in Atlanta

I got to Atlanta on my scheduled flight, barely. Delta held the Atlanta connection flight in JFK for about 10 people who were coming off of the Accra to JFK flight. Literally after we all boarded the plane they closed the door.

Delta had issues opening the cargo doors on the Accra t JFK flight and the baggage was delayed about 30- 35 minutes getting off the plane. Finally the bags came, mine were on the belt in about 10 minutes, I had to clear customs, get the bags rechecked and then run to gate B38 to make the ATL flight. While I made the flight the bags did not.

At JFK they have implemented the self check in for immigration. You go to a kiosk, scan your passport, answer a few questions on a touch screen, the machine then takes your photo and prints out a receipt. You then queue for an immigration agent to check your passport against the picture and you are on your way. The user interface on the touch screen is not "user friendly", but overall the process was fast.

Cindy and I waited at Hartsfield for the next Delta flight, bags arrived at 11am, I was home by 11:30am . Thanks to Alejandro from Colombia who helped me get the 40 lbs carry on up and down from the overhead compartment on the Accra flight. I met Alejandro in the Accra terminal, he was talking on the phone in Spanish and sounded so familiar, his Spanish, like the Spanish spoken in Panama, the words, the cadence of his speech, some of the things he said. Of course I asked him where he was from and we had a nice conversation. He lives in Miami, his originally from Bogota and his reason for being in Ghana, he works as a petrol engineer on a oil rig platform in the Gulf of Ghana 5 weeks at a time, he goes home for 5 weeks, comes back.

The flights were uneventful, my favorite kind. I had nice seat mates, they were not talkative at all, again my favorite kind. And thanks to Tylenol PM I slept 7 hours on the Accra flight and then watched a movie about Arnel Penieda, the lead singer of Journey from Manila. The movie a documentary style independent film about how Journey found Arnel on YOUTUBE, how he joined the band, footage from the their first tour and album together, it was very nice. I was on a brand new 767 - it makes a difference when the plane is new. It was clean, no torn seat covers, the screen for the movies much better, they have electrical plugs and USB plugs in Economy Comfort, it was a nice flight.

Once I got home I was able to stay awake until about 2pm, I slept until 6pm and was back asleep at 9pm. I am writing this post at 4am. I have been up for about an hour, when my mind is awake I cannot stay in bed. I opened all the mail that came this week, I read all the holiday cards we've gotten so far and will head out to buy the Sunday paper soon. After 11 years, the washing machine gave out about three weeks ago. Cindy and I are going shopping for a new washer and dryer today. Fun, fun, fun.

I will call Lilian later today and will keep providing updates until she is discharged.

One last note, if anyone reading these blog updates get the world maps insert in the Doctors Without Borders mailers, if you don't want the map, please save for me. I take them to Ghana and share with students. They love them.

And if you know a pilot, a commercial airline pilot in the Atlanta area, I want to do an interview of a pilot and make a short video that I can share with the students. Many of them want to be pilots, I told them I would try to get this done before my next visit.

Happy Sunday to All.