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The Kumvana Experience : Flight to Montreal

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My flight to Canada was on the 13th of January, 2015. ). I VIPed to Accra early in the morning in other to make it to the Kumvana preparation session at 10:00am. I arrived and met my other colleagues whom I was travelling with, the four other Kumvana delegates, Joyce, Annatu, Nafisa and Miles. The session led by a Kumvana alum. After the session, I went into town with Annatu to change some GHC to CAD however it was very difficult to find and I decided to use my VISA cards instead. I picked up some shito and gari for backup and got a lot of Kingsbite and Golden Tree chocolate as a souvenir from Ghana!

I arrived at the airport about 3 hours early, checked in my luggage with Annatu and Nafisa and we hang out for a bit. We grabbed something to eat and rushed to international departures. The whole process was surprisingly smooth and I was proud to see systems working in order, even though I wish there weren’t stacks of paper everywhere and a lot of things were computerised. All five of us waited for a bit and boarded Turkish airlines. We were flying from Accra to Instanbul to Geneva and them to Montreal! Wheeew!

The first flight took about 6 hours and I am generally scared of heights and having no control over escaping in an enclosed space and flying is a combination of all that, so relaxing isn’t even an option. When we arrived in Instanbul, we had to quickly find our next flight and layover was less than an our. It took a while to find the boarding the terminal and when we did, the workers checking us in weren’t very nice. They were strict and ask so many unnecessary questions. I believe it’s because we were from Africa or black and they had to be just rude. One of the guys even took a picture of my passport which I thought was overboard. The white folks ahead of us didn’t experience that so I wash’t wrong in concluding what it was about. I was already informed that there will be some form of harassment at the international airports.

We made our way to another turkish plane to fly to Geneva. The flight took about two and a half hours and I was so tired and hadn’t slept in 24 hours. When we got to Geneva, I noticed there weren’t many people at the airport. It was very easy to find our next check in. There was one person attending to many  at the security check in and I thought that wasn’t very efficient and as a result we stayed in the queue for a while. We finally made it to Air Canada and took our seats.

There was a man sitting beside us when we got on the plane and he asked the air hostess to change his seat! I am not sure whether or not it had to do with sitting with black people but in that instance I felt very un welcomed and wasn’t sure what to expect anymore in Canada.

The flight to Montreal, Canada took 8 and a half hours and the turbulence in the beginning of the flight was frightening. One we flew high above the clouds, there was fewer turbulence, but I still couldn’t sleep and tried watching movies and playing on my laptop. We arrived in Montreal in the afternoon around 2:30pm and joined the non nationals queue to get in. The lady I spoke to at the counter wasn’t nice and I wasn’t surprised. She asked so many questions including inappropriate ones. I tried to be nice and politely answered her questions so I could just get out of there.

After we all got through, we noticed our luggage didn’t come in. All five of us? We went to the air canada counter and reported not seeing our luggage. They hinted it had been left behind in Geneva and I didn’t understand how they could just loose luggage for five people. We were frustrated and customs checkin was even worse. We saw lots of other people go through the gates without being checked further! Hmmm. After getting through, Florian met us at the airport with some warm clothes and we dressed up to face the winter! :D.

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