GradSWE Overseas, Liberia

Reflections on my first overseas flight

By Liz Dreyer, EE PhD student

After 18+ hours of travel, we have finally made it to Ghana. Tomorrow we will depart for Liberia. Since this is my first trip overseas, I want to take a moment and reflect on it and give a quick update before we leave. The internet in our hotel is great right now.

Airplanes
This was my first time flying over the Atlantic Ocean. Although I slept most of the way, it was an awesome view. Early in the morning we caught the sun rising over the ocean. It was incredible! I also really enjoyed the in-plane food and beverage service. Did you know that you actually get complementary dinner and beer/wine when you travel overseas on Delta? Even in Economy! I was pleasantly surprised. It was delicous too. They even served complementary beverages like tea, wine, beer, coffee, and juice.

The next leg was from Amsterdam to Ghana. The Amsterdam airport was complicated but we made it to our gate with plenty of time. KLM provided excellent service and even better food than Delta. It was my first plan ride where English was not the default announcement language. It was third after Dutch and French. The views of the Sahara desert were awesome too. Also, did you know that Diet Coke is called Coke Light in Holland?

Ghana
After our long flight, we finally made it to Ghana. The Ghana airport is nice enough but customs took over 2 hours. It turns out that Ghanaian visas are a bit complicated. The hotel shuttle left without us because we took so long, but we just caught a taxi instead. We all feel bad about having the shuttle driver wait 2 hours for us and never seeing us. The hotel is clean and we get breakfast in the morning. We leave for Liberia at 12:30 pm on Wednesday. Hopefully the airport is easier this time through.

Overall, it has been a great day of firsts! First time flying over the ocean, first time in Europe, first time in Africa, first time hearing Dutch in person. I cannot wait to see what other firsts we encounter on this trip.

We will post about our activities in Liberia soon. Thanks for reading!

~ Liz

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