Permission to come aboard

Monrovia Travel Blog

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The gangway

Well I'm finally on the ship.  What a wild couple of days.  Ok, maybe wild isn't the right world...  let me start from the beginning. 

Sunday, we got up really really early (3 am) to finish packing and get ready to leave.  We were out at the bus stop by 4 am, watching the mice and drunks crawl across the streets.  Our bus finally arrived and we had to change 2x before getting on the Gatwick Express train to the airport.  I think we got there around 6.  Stood in line at the check desk forever and when it was our turn, we found out that our flight from Brussels to Monrovia was cancelled because of mechanical issues and there weren't any planes to replace it.

  So our only option was to wait til the next day (monday) and take that flight.  So to make up for it, they put us up in the Hilton attached to the airport!  (there were no hotels in Brussels so they decided to keep us in England).

It was heaven!  Erika and I each had our own rooms, we had food vouchers, long hot showers, feather pillows, internet, etc.  The hotel provided breakfast for those of us on the cancelled flight and then lunch was room service and then buffet for dinner.  We spent the entire day in our rooms, only coming out for dinner.  It was lovely. 

Monday was another early day.  Our flight was at 0740 and was on time.  Uneventful.  The only problem with the airports (I don't know if its an European thing or just the two airports we were at) but they don't post the gate assignments until right before boarding.  Take for instance our flight from Gatwick.  Our flight was at 0740, with a 0710 boardtime.  They posted the gate at 0720.  In Brussels they didn't post the gate and we didn't know what terminal to go to so we followed the crowd and almost went into the country!  Its annoying.

Anyhoo, after leaving an hour late (2 people were missing and they had to do a luggage check), and 6.5 hours later we arrived in Monrovia.  Typical hustle and bustle of the airport.  A lot of people were arriving for the ship with us, I sat behind 2 from Holland, so they got us organized real quick and had us on our way back to the ship.  It was almost like we have never left!  A lot of familiar faces.  Got settled, I'm on deck 3 in a 6 berth cabin with 3 other girls, my bunk mate is from New Zealand and just arrived a couple hours before me.  Went to bed early.

No rest for the weary.  Jumped right into work.  I've been doing VVF repairs, thats for women who have had traumatic deliveries and had fistulas making them incontinent.  Did three today, it was long, but interesting.  Its something we don't do at home because of the access to modern health care. 

So my work day is over, just finished dinner (breakfast burrito and biscuts and gravy, super yummy).  Still have a game of settlers to play and laundry to do. 

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The gangway
The gangway
photo by: ulis