#nanowrimo excerpt number3

Our hero Mark  is in Egypt trying to get to Nairobi, Kenya.  He is boarding a small 10 passenger plane that is so small it does not have the range to get there.  It is all a little sketchy.


The pilot was a black man from Somalia that spoke good, but heavily accented English. “We are short one passenger. Are we waiting?”


Mark answered “We are short one passenger. There is no need to wait.”

“OK. We must go over some safety precautions before we board the plane. I will need the heaviest two passengers in the two seats under the wing. Empty seats in the back. Please place all of your luggage on this scale.”

The pilot weighed the passengers individually. Mark was assigned a seat under the wing. “OK. We are about two hundred pounds over my estimated weight. That would not normally be a problem, but we have some very active winds today and we will have to land one time or maybe two times for fuel. This is normal. We have agreements with fuel suppliers at a couple of different airports along the way.”

The pilot consulted some charts. “We will stop in Sudan and if necessary Uganda. Folks, the flight will be very bumpy on the way up to altitude and the way down, but it will be only choppy at altitude, which today will be 17,000 feet.”

“A word of caution. When we land in Sudan for fuel, we will not be getting off the plane. There is little security in that country and there is no customs readily available. We land, we refuel, we take off. Nothing more. If we have to land in Uganda, we will be landing a Arua. We will be met by armed security forces and we will need to clear customs. There is a fee for clearing custom in Uganda. Please have the fee ready with your passport when we land. Yes? You have a question?”

A petite woman with what was a French or Belgian accent asked “Well then, how much is the fee?”

The Somalian pilot answered with absolutely no emphasis or extra spin “What ever you think is necessary for you to clear customs for the 20 minutes we will be on the ground. I should point out that the customs facilities at Arua airport are rather informal. The terminal does have a coffee shop and facilities to refresh yourselves. Uganda is safer than Sudan, somewhat, but we will not be hanging around very long. Kenya is much safer than either Sudan or Uganda.” He smiled “Relatively safer of course.”

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