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Name: Melissa

About Me

Countries Visited (not including Turnarounds): Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Great Britain, Greece, Iceland, India, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Latvia, Libya, Lithuania, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritius, Moldova, Monaco, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, North Korea, Philippines, Romania, Russia, Singapore, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Tanzania, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United States, Vatican City

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Friday, March 16, 2012
I was looking forward to my first layover in Senegal. I resisted the few swaps I was offered, and I'd heard some pretty positive reports from the crew. It's been in operation for almost 18 months, so it was about time I visited.

So during the ridiculously empty flight, we chatted, and quite a big group of crew were interested in sightseeing. We were working out our itinerary already - Goree Island, Dakar Cathedral, African Renaissance Monument among others - but when we landed the Captain received a note from Airport Operations. As it turns out the day that we landed in Dakar was the day after the Senegalese Presidential elections, and since the election itself was considered to be somewhat controversial there were protests expected in the city. So basically the airline advised us to stay within the confines of the hotel rather than get caught up and risk facing potentially violent demonstrations. In the end we all decided to limit our ventures out of the hotel and instead chose to leave the sightseeing for another layover.

It wasn't too bad I guess, we went to a nearby market, and there was a beach nearby. Crew, being crew, bought every souvenir they set their eyes on and did well to fund the Senegalese economy. I was only interested in a fridge magnet to add to my collection back home, and still have yet to buy one.

Views of the beach near the market at des Almadies

The rocky coast was full of shells.

And floaty bits of newspaper :-(

The restaurant district.

 Senegalese markets.

The Dakar trip was also the first time I ever saw medication delivered to the aircraft just for the crew. I've been to Africa numerous times, and about half of the destinations there are Malaria-risk countries, so I have a small spray bottle of DEET in my medicine cabinet just in case, but foolishly forgot to pack it with me on the trip. Our forward-thinking Purser called up our airline clinic before we were due to sign in so that hopefully the meds could be distributed to all the crew, but they couldn't get to us in time. So at the very last minute, with everyone on board and 5 min until push back, our plucky clinic courier turned up with bag full of doxycycline. To be taken 2 days before travel (already missed that) and to take for up to 4 weeks after. The worst part is you don't know whether you have malaria until 4 weeks after leaving a high risk country. Seeing as though I have an Entebbe flight at the end of the month, I guess I'll be on the meds for a while.