Sunday, December 16, 2012

Back to Kenya at 40,000 Feet


We’re now midway through our flight from Detroit to Amsterdam, and the plane is hushed. The cabin lights are off with the exception of a few reading lights and the glow of small screens showing movies. A college student sits a few seats away and is working on something that appears to be important to her.

A few minutes ago I had gotten up to stretch. In the process I met two ladies likely in their sixties who are going to be spending ten days floating down the Rhine. A mother was feeding her infant while her husband attempted sleep.

My kids, on the other hand, are more like their dad. I doubt there will be much sleep on this flight tonight. Its somewhat of a strange thing. We took off at 4 p.m., were served dinner two hours later, and nearly half the plane is trying to sleep at 8 p.m. It begs me to ask why so many people can sleep at this time of day?

Are our lives so filled with busyness that we crave sleep even at 8 p.m.? Or perhaps there is a possibility that people can fall asleep much easier than me. I recall taking naps in the middle of the day on those trips from Michigan to Colorado when I was a kid, waking up in a different state without realizing the boredom, was pretty cool. Waking up was even better when we had changed time zones.  So perhaps sleep is a means to kill the boredom and wake up bouncing onto the runway in Amsterdam is the prize.

Regardless though, flying distances is an odd thing. We walk onto a plane with hundreds of people whom we do not know by name, place, or nation. Yet, we are stuck together at 40,000 feet hanging in the atmosphere for eight hours with no way to leave these people. Some of us will strike up conversations or sell their wares to perspective clients while others simply speak only to the flight attendants between their studies, games, or movies.

What to think of it all I do not know. To imagine Freud or Shakespeare reflecting on an oddity such as this would intrigue. Yet, one thing is certain; we are all up here, and we are all in this together. Perhaps this is the way of Kenya Matters too. For those who have traveled with us, and for those who have not, we are hanging together with the hope that the world will become a better place for our efforts.  Knowing these orphaned kids and the people of their community by name, infusing it with goodness, kindness, and financial capital will alter this community and these people for the better.

Now for the slowest part of this flight – the last two hours and thirty-nine minutes. Perhaps I too should try sleep.

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