The Privilege to Fly

Saturday, 4 March 2023


I writing this so I don't forgot to have gratitude. 

Somethings have become so routine that we forget how wonderous they are. 

I had passport before I could read or even spell my name. 

I travelled on a plane before I could speak in sentences, use a spoon to eat or I could even go to the toilet alone. 

I think about this because I remember my father once told me that he used to attend primary school barefoot cause he did not own a pair of shoes.  My mum  was born at home, the only record of her birth is her baptism certificate. To forget how far my parents had to  have come to instill flying on a plane in their children as a normal and possible part of life from an early age would be very disrespectful.


As a child the excitement of being able to go to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport just to see the planes land and take off was quite an adventure.  At that time you could go to the top of the terminal building  and watch them even if you weren't travelling. There was a tiny shop that sold soft drinks and snacks and we had to pay an entrance fee. When members of the family were arriving during the day, my father liked to take us to witness it. Little Maria was always ecstatic seeing her Mum or brothers stepping off the plane. This was in the early 1990s; today understandably, there are so many security measures in place you can barely get into the building. 

Everyone would clap for the pilot when the plane landed; travelling was an event! Passengers would be dressed up in their best outfits, My mum in her bold pointy heels and me in my cute puffy dress. The air hostesses were admired for their uniforms and perfect make-up. They still look smart today, but back then I remember they had to be perfectly-put-together which couldn't have have been healthy I guess. 

When my elder brother was travelling to the United States to study, three BIG families packed into three not-so-big cars to go to the airport. Some of us sat in the boot of the car. More than twenty people seeing off one person at the airport. Those were the days...

As I said at the beginning of this post, I am writing this so that I don't forget what a privilege it is to fly. Even if it has become quite the routine now days.

I am grateful. 

           Do you have any special memories? Share them in comments, would love to hear them 

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