Tuesday, September 22, 2009


I can't stop smiling every time I remember the first time, I meant to write , the first time I flew and then I remembered the first time I crossed the boarders of my birth country, oh! my first rotation on the hospital ward, the day I first arrived in the US, the list goes on and on.
The advantage of having a bad memory like mine, is that you enjoy the same things as if they were first time, so I wouldn't bet all these events were first time, hmm, I think they were.
I would love to tell of the wondrous story of each of them but I'll spare you the pain of reading a soap opera, I myself would rather watch it than read it.
This was in the early 2000's, I was in nursing school, a member of the choir at the cathedral, I was on the Red Cross youth committee and a volunteer with Right To Play, a children non-profit Organisation and I was running for the deputy Guild speaker on the student leadership, busy body. I loved every single bit of what I was doing and I couldn't imagine giving up one for the other until I was asked to travel to Northern part of Uganda( war-torn zone), in the displaced camps to train coaches in first aid. I would never have risked my precious life to the danger zone but this opportunity was a little less than touching the hem of Jesus' garment, I was going to fly to the training, Flying for the first time. I literally couldn't sleep, not anxiety, not insomnia but the excitement was too much to contain. I abandoned everything else that I was involved in and packed for the trip as if I was leaving for a vacation to the Bahamas for months. I was sure to include my passport because I kind of linked the airport with a passport, of coarse I didn't need one, I was not crossing any boarders. I told all those who cared to listen of my "morning flight", oh dear. You could see the envy in their eyes. I couldn't imagine being anyone else but me, because I envied me too.I arrived at the airport with another volunteer and it was a thrill just checking in the departure, though nothing as dramatic as I imagined . We got onto the ten seat plane, I made a point to call my uncle just for him to hear the noise of the plane as it took off, to be sure I was flying. You think this is funny but boy, this experience can be overwhelmingly exciting. Actually overwhelming. A few minutes in the air, I wished I had never got onto that thing called the plane. I felt intense pressure in my cranial, almost bursting through my ears, I felt like there was no content in my abdomen, I simply felt bad but still maintaining my demeanor, I leaned over the chair in front of me, fastened my neck scarf around my tummy and that kind of eased the discomfort. My poor fellow volunteer turned and convincingly told me how he was catching malaria, not to mention everyone else on the plane rushing through the door when we finally made the first stop. They were sick as a dog. You would think that they were used to flying to get sick since they must have travelled so far, telling from the colour of their skin. I later on found out that small planes are not the best for first time feel good flight. My next flight was with Boeing and believe me, I wish to have a bad memory with my first flying experience but it just won't happen. I almost forgot to say that we took the bus back home.


  1. hey it is amazing how memory works. You remember all those details. Amazing.

  2. That’s a great story; here’s mine.

    It must have been 1964. I flew to Alaska and what I remember is climbing around under the seats while my mother was patiently yet embarrassedly coaxingly trying to get me to behave. No one could get me out from under the seats; I crawled between the legs of other passengers to get away. That’s what I remember; my mother’s anxiety, my having escaped her control and my travels through the web of bolted down seats.

    I didn’t fly after that for many years. Then I wiggled myself into a flight my brother and his friend were making. I think we are talking about 1974-5 (that makes me around 15 years old). My brother’s friend, Lee, was a pilot with enough hours of experience to legally carry passengers. My brother was learning to fly and needed an experienced pilot to legally fly the plane. I somehow got myself invited to go on an excursion with them; the destination being Pullman, WA (a small college town on the eastern border of Washington State). I don’t know if the were pulling a trick on me or whether it was just a rough ride but the flight was more animated than a roller-coaster at Disneyland and I got very sick. I too probably wanted to take a bus back but that wasn’t to be; it was very unpleasant and my desire for small craft flight never became an issue. In a way that could have been a good thing because I might have got into tinkering with flying contraptions instead of old cars and when I overlook fixing something on an old car, it’s just an inconvenience, not a life-risking mistake. John

  3. Hey Tina great story, ma first was to Rwanda so was abit of outside UG but I always act tough en all was well it was just 50 mins but will always remember it.