By Josephat Siror
The usual whoosh at Wilson airport was temporarily subdued as a military chopper ferrying aid workers rambled in the air before landing at exactly 3pm on Monday.
On the ground were splintered gatherings with their nervous sights glued on the plane from close range. Business at the airport was temporarily put on hold as staff coalesced in a makeshift vantage.
Some top officials including Kenya’s Deputy Speaker of National Assembly Farah Mahalim and Norwegian envoy Per Ludvig Magnus had gathered for hours anxiously waiting for the arrival of the plane, for it carried four aid workers who had been rescued from a suspected militia group.
The workers had been kidnapped last Friday at the Dadaab refugee camp.
When the plane touched down and the rescued workers disembarked, the gathered crowd burst into joy.
It was a rewarding moment for those gathered. Since Sunday morning when attackers targeted worshippers in a church in Garissa killing 17 and wounding more than 60, the country has been covered by a cloud of sadness.
Although exhausted, the Nowergian Refugee Council (NRC) staff smiled as they waved to the crowd as they made their way to the VIP lounge.
Not even a Philipine colleague Glenn Costes, 40, who appeared to be writhing in pain could hide his joy. He was the first one to alight from the plane aided by the co-pilot of Kenyan military chopper.
His counterparts Mr Steven Dennis, 37, Ms Qurat-Ul-Ain Sadozai, 38, from Canada and Ms Astrid Sehl, 33, from Norway were exceptionally happy. They wore dust battered clothes, an indicator of the gruelling moments they had been in the hands of their captors.
Team leader Sadozai said, “We are safe. We are happy to be alive and we are back.”
The relief workers were kidnapped at Ifo camp in Dadaab early Friday and driven 35 miles inside war-torn Somalia by a militia group.