Part three in a series of posts I wrote while living and working in Niger, in West Africa.
Until we tried to take off, I was feeling okay about Air Ivoire. I’m not a big fan of the little Fokker F-28s that seem to ply every route in West Africa, but this one had a proper first-class section at the front, people sat where their tickets told them to, and they even had an in-flight magazine. We were an hour late taking off, so there was the usual tension among the passengers and flight crew. The safety briefing was a little rushed, and the engines started up half-way through, after which only occasional snippets of sentences could be heard over the speakers while the flight attendant played charades with a demonstration life-vest: “…under your seat… …outside the aircraft… …towards your face and breath…”