My Africa Story – 6

We went to the airport to try and catch the flight out to get Fred back to Ghana and every day for three days we went back to the pension and took the few hours of daylight to play the tourist. I was in awe of the architecture and sore I could hear the roar of the crowds at the Coliseum; the Sistine Chapel, we climbed every one of the 320 stairs at the Vatican and I bought a rosary for my father.

The third day we were able to book a flight, but it was going through Lagos, Nigeria. I didn’t have a visa for Nigeria so we weren’t allowed to leave the airport. We ended up sleeping on the floor on the carpet, leaning against our suit cases at the Air Italia check in counter. It was about 15 feet from the exit sliding doors and the Nigerian military officers marching in front of the doors with their machine guns resting on their shoulders.

I must have fallen asleep at some point because I woke with a start at the pungent aroma of fresh brewing coffee. I shook Fred’s shoulder and suggested we get up and attempt a sponge bath and meet upstairs at the cafeteria counter.

About two hours later, we were standing in line, waiting to clear the security check. I was nearly at the front of the line when a woman came bursting out of the three foot cloth booth angry enough to strike out at anyone who got in her way,

In sheer panic, I looked pleadingly at Fred.