In the air

On the flight to Kinshasa

On the flight to Kinshasa

At noon we left the hotel by bus for a half-hour trip to the airport. To get into the airport, both our bodies and our belongings had to be scanned. Then we went through check-in, passport control and a final scan to to get to the gate. I approve of the thorough control of the passengers and that the aircraft is a closed area. Anything else is unthinkable. Hereby, travellers with terror in the luggage don’t take the trouble to make trouble.

At 3 p.m. we took another bus out to the plane and half past three the plane took off. Shortly after nine local time, we will land on Ndjili, Kinshasa. Turkey is one hour ahead of us in Sweden. Congo, in Kinshasa, has the same time as our winter time. That means Congo is two hours after Turkey, so the time of flight to Kinshasa becomes almost eight hours, in other words it takes almost the whole day. Our first hours on the plane we spent in hibernation. It is good and necessary to relax sometimes. For dinner we ate grilled salmon with salad, bread and some other snacks. A meal that was welcome and which replenished our energy.

The plane we are traveling with is not that large, a Boeing 737-900 ER, with capacity for 154 passengers, but it is new and fresh. I estimate that we are about 100 passengers. Half black and half white. There are a lot of empty seats. The company has headquarters in Istanbul. Each and every plane is labeled Turkish Airlines at the airport, and the airport seems huge.

At 21:03 we landed at Ndjili Airport in Kinshasa, two minutes in advance of the timetable. Yapeco had hired a guy to take care of our luggage, and all bags were with. This guy use the straight track through customs and other intricacies. We have to pay some service charges but it’s worth it. Outside stood Yapeco and Dikéns, our bus driver in 2010. They took us to Jbam Reny Makuala with wife Adele and their five children. Jbam is a lawyer. Here we will stay for two nights. As soon as we got inside the door Jbam gathered us in prayer. A very natural act for a Congolese. They were very welcoming and they really wanted us to feel at home. As we are impressionable, we felt at home immediately. Hospitality is something that is common to all Congolese people we have met.