Leaving On a Jet Plane…

(Updated 3-3-2012, added more info about Safari trip)

It’s Saturday morning local time.  Fady and Hany flew out at 4am.  Jeremy and I fly out in a few hours, at 8:30am. What a whirlwind week. We managed to get almost everything done and functional.  There are probably about a dozen phone lines out of 170 that don’t work at all and another dozen that cannot get their DSL to connect (there are about 70 family houses, each uses DSL to get internet from the main IT office). I think we were tracing down wiring problems until about 2 minutes before we got in the car to head to the guest house near the airport.

We managed to go on a short Safari into Naraku (I think that is how it is spelled) reservation. Got to see a lot of animals, nearly all of which I’ve forgotten the names of. When we got back to RVA to pick up all our bags and head out again there was a small disaster that had to be fixed. One of the temporary replacement switches lost some of its configuration when they installed the new UPS because we forgot to save so we had to track down and re-set those settings. Since we were waiting we also fixed a couple more phone lines that we found that were crossed or missing.

The people at RVA were wonderful. Very welcoming and helpful to us as we walked around campus trying to track down issues. We ended up being far more disruptive than we would normally have been because of the lightning strike – we figured everything was down anyway, might as well just do a hard switch on the phones and take them down too – but everybody was happy to let us disrupt them for a few minutes to test wires or track down crossed circuits.

The Safari trip was fantastic. We got to see a lot of really cool animals and had a great couple of hours to just hang out with the other guys on the team and get to know each other a bit more. I’ve included a couple pictures from the Safari to give an idea of what we saw out there. As fun as the Safari was, I’m rather torn because I think I would have rather spent the day at RVA just hanging, visiting and exploring the campus a bit more.

I only got to chat with my host family once, on Thursday night, and that was only for about 30 or 45 minutes. The rest of the week I really only saw them in passing. I would have liked to be able to spend a bit more time getting to know them as well as the other I.T. guys at RVA. It would have been fun to be able to go around in the daytime and take a few pictures of the campus to remember the place a bit more. Or even to be able to see Nairobi in the daytime. As it is we arrived late at night and left early in the morning, so I really never got to see the city itself in daylight.

My stay at Amsterdam was also short and in the dark. By the time we landed and off the plane it was already getting dark. Jeremy and I went into town for about an hour and walked one of the streets and took a few pictures of the buildings – to which can only be described as amazing. It is truly amazing what they have achieved in progress yet still kept many, maybe all, of the original buildings. I have not yet been to London, but Amsterdam looks a lot like I imagine London to look (at least what I saw of it in the dark). Lots of tall, majestic looking buildings that make you think they must be hundreds of years old.

So I’m Leaving on a Jet plane
Don’t know when I’ll be back again…

… But I think I will.

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