Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Khartoum, Sudan

I’m in Khartoum. What a zoo this last week has been...UPS lost my passport with my Sudan visa. Our Washington office shipped it UPS "next day air" last Thursday to McMinnville, it made it as far as Louisville and no farther. Long story somewhat short...after working with UPS Monday and Tuesday I decided to go for a new passport and visa. I flew the company’s C-206 to Seattle Wed. morning and got a replacement passport then flew back to McMinnville to get on a redeye flight to Washington D.C. Wed. evening. I was on the Sudan Embassy’s doorstep Thursday AM. After 30 straight hours of go, go, go I had a passport and visa in hand. Needless to say once I made it back to my hotel and had some food, other than airline peanuts, and a couple of beers in my belly I crashed.

After resting most of Friday I started another 24 hours of travel on Saturday. This time on Lufthansa, the good news I was able to use our airline ID to upgrade. What a difference it is between the front and the back of today’s airlines. The seats did everything from making a bed to rubbing your back, all at the touch of a button. The food was eatable and the booze flowed. I’m still rummy from lack of sleep but all in all the trip over wasn’t too bad.

The C-206 flight was interesting...it was the first time I had flown a 206 in over 30 years and almost that long between single engine cross-countries. Two things stood out...first: damn it was slow, second: it was a lot of work and this was a pretty well equipped 206. We forget how hard it is to do everything solo with equipment that is not top of the line.

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