From the blog...
So we’re standing in the middle of the Abu Dhabi airport and we are all waiting to find out how the heck to make our way to Kabul. We explored all options possible, including taking a bus to Dubai, and then catching a flight to Kabul from there, but the problem with that option is that you need a visa to go anywhere outside of the airport in the UAE… yikes! The visa we had was good only for Afghanistan. In other words, we were literally stranded at the airport. That was a strange feeling I must admit… The only solution for us was to fly to Qatar, then fly to Dubai and then fly to Kabul. Sounds borderline ridiculous right? Yet we had no choice, really! So Captain Labonté went ahead and got everyone their brand new tickets, and then we all proceeded to… you guessed it, WAIT. Lol! J I went to the women’s bathroom to change my clothes, brush my teeth and wash my face. I was dying for a shower, and for a bed. ANY bed! I would’ve probably settled for a sleeping bag on the floor lol. As I walked out of the bathroom I noticed a sign above my head that said “Women’s prayer room this way” with an arrow. I followed it and indeed came across an actual prayer room where a beautiful and luxurious rug was laid out on the floor, and two women were on their knees, face down on the floor. I didn’t go in, and didn’t stare for more than a few seconds, but it was rather fascinating to see.
On my way back to the group I passed by a splendid Christmas tree. I immediately felt a small wave of warmth and joy. Dec 23rd, and my Christmas tree happens to be here in Abu Dhabi J I then went to grab myself a beverage, and walked passed a McDonald’s and a Pizza Hut hehe. This airport was really quite gorgeous I thought, it was colorful and right in the middle of the terminal the ceiling came down into this very odd, but amazing, almost vase shape. BTW, along with the final installment of my blog I will be posting some photos of my entire journey J Stay tuned!
Anyhow, fast forward to a few hours later (although it really felt like days!), we board the small plane to Doha, Qatar. Surprise, surprise, it’s late taking off! We are all pretty nervous because it is awfully foggy outside. This was beginning to be funny. Might as well laugh about it all, right? At that point none of us could really believe all of the bad luck we’d been having and we were all so exhausted that we couldn’t help but make jokes. I said to the group “Seriously, what we’re going through really should be a comedy movie!” (Anyone remember Planes, Trains and Automobiles? LOL.) “And if we miss our next flight yet again, I’m gonna start looking for the cameras and find out who’s punking us!!!” haha. Finally, the fog clears, we take off and 45 minutes later we are in Doha. Thank goodness we did not miss our next flight to Dubai, although we did have to run to our gate a little bit. Once in Dubai, everyone is terribly anxious to get to Kabul, and we encourage each other by saying “This is it! Last stretch, last flight, and then we’re there!” In Dubai there is WiFi at the airport, so I send a few quick emails. My poor mom, she’s at the cottage in Tremblant with the family, following my itinerary and tracking my flights step by step. If she only knew lol… “Rip it all up mom, there’s nothing accurate about that schedule anymore!”
I honestly cannot remember what time it was when we boarded the plane from Dubai to Kabul, all I remember is Richard and I glancing at each other with that look of despair mixed with excitement and disbelief all at once! I close my eyes, and I begin to take deep breaths. I start talking to myself in my head, trying to hype myself up and calm myself down at the same time (strange I know but both needs had to be met lol). I say to myself: “Come on Eva, there is only one last little flight left ‘til we finally reach Kabul. We’re almost there, I can do this. It’s incredibly difficult and I am so painfully sleep-deprived, but I can do this. Adventure baby!!” We, as a group agreed that upon our arrival, we would be going straight to bed and try to recuperate for our very big day on Dec 25th, Xmas day. Originally there was going to be a reception dinner for us, but there was no way we were capable of going through with it. We had a packed schedule the next day and 5 military bases to visit, not to mention we had to perform! I was wondering how my voice would keep up. But again, I knew I could do this J This is by far the craziest travel experience I have ever been through without a shadow of a doubt, but man, will this make one heck of a story to tell. Well, it wasn’t over yet. About 30 min go by, the plane is at a standstill on the runway, and the pilot makes an announcement. “Ladies and gentlemen, we apologize for the delay. Unfortunately, this runway is not clear for take-off at the moment, so we have to turn around, go back to the gate and wait another while before we can return to the runway and we shall then be on our way to Kabul. This may take up to at least an hour”.
I wanted to cry.
(to be continued…)