The journey from Washington DC to Blantyre, Malawi took about 28 hours. The flight from Dulles to Addis was uneventful except for an announcement that there was a sick passenger and could any physicians come to the front of the plane. While I was worried we had a situation like the one on Airplane, the patient was an infant and ended up being ok. After a refueling stop in Rome, we landed in Addis (while we didn’t see much, it looked beautiful from the sky and airport) where airline agents met us. They asked if we were connecting and to where. A group of six of us were escorted to the flight to Lilongwe which was waiting on the tarmac for us. – While hurrying to the next flight, I noticed an advertisement for Ethiopian Airways that said “You will indeed love Africa.”
As we were over an hour late, we were surprised and thankful that they had held the flight for us. I slept during the flight to Lumbumbashi, our quick stop in the DRC. Some passengers got off – some got on – it was very relaxed environment where no one much cared if they were in the correct seat assignment – it was more like a bus than a plane.
Finally, after that fourth leg, we landed in Lilongwe and the teeny tiny little airport. We made it! But our bags didn’t. Those helping us had a very efficient yet low-tech system (using carbon paper) and they promised that when (I worried IF) the luggage arrived, they would forward it to Blantyre.
A very warm and friendly driver from Sandy’s NGO met us and loaded us into the heavy-duty Toyota Land Cruiser complete with a rhino pack.