Africa: Why I love Europe and Portland was Great!

I didn’t have much time in Portland, and didn’t get to see many people, and unfortunately will have even less time on the way back.

I did get to hang out with a friend though, and he toured me around and endured my whining about the cold (all day long- thanks Patrick!).  It was a beautiful, sunny day though, so that definitely helped.  Got to see lots of waterfalls (one pictured here) and learned about sturgeon and rainbow trout and some of the Native Americans who call that part of Oregon home.  Waterfalls and indigenous populations – I’m easy like that.

Then, the Sun went down and I became a lost cause.  We went to see the zoo lights (which were awesome and even got this scrooge in a good mood, despite the fact that she could no longer feel her fingers or toes.)

Then it was time to get on a plane.

The HNL – PDX flight was not good.  Screaming baby for the ENTIRE flight.  Not much sleep.

The PDX – JFK flight was uneventful.  We got off the ground a little late because of de-icing the plane.  I was sad I didn’t have time to go into the city and see anyone.  The next time I do a trip like this, I’m going to break it up a little more so that it’s a little more enjoyable and so I can see people and maybe even sleep a little bit.

JFK – AMS was also uneventful.  We even got in an hour early even.  I don’t need much time here because I can’t afford anything here and I try to think of buying everything in dollars instead of euros because it makes my pockets cry a little bit.

But – why I love Holland and Europe in general – I walk in, find my gate, and on the way find a library with books (on a buddy system!) and ipads for the public to use.  They even had a great kid area, which was super cute.  Above that was a lovely lounge for the weary traveler to sleep.  (for free).    I’m sure there was some cheap socialized medicine here I could’ve taken advantage of had I needed it, but I’ll save that for the trip back.

I just had a lovely dutch breakfast (they have the best mayo, mustard and ketchup, you know) and have a little more  time to kill before I board the plane for Tanzania.  As always, there’s lots of good people watching, and I am almost done with Better Off: Flipping the Switch on Technology.  Powell’s (my fave bookstore) was having a sale at the PDX airport and I picked that up with a few other reads.  So far this one has been really good and a good mindset to get in to before arriving in TZ, although it appears that technology will be fairly abundant.  We shall see.

Thanks for all of the messages and texts and facebook, twitter and instagram love.  Not sure if I’ll be able to keep all of that up while gone, but I’ll see what I can do!  Despite the lack of sleep, I’m surviving.  Hoping to stay awake as much as possible on the next flight just so I can get on track and don’t mess around with jetlag for long.

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