And yet … I understand why pilots love flying in Africa. Yes, there's danger, discomfort and risk, and the poverty and violence can be exhausting to even witness, let alone confront. We have no idea how safe and comfortable we truly are here. Even in the course of a month, I found myself newly appreciative of things I should be grateful for every day but too often take for granted. And while most of those items involve basics like safety, money, running water, health, civil rights and peace, they also include the simple luxuries of paved, straight runways more than 1,500 feet long and the wonders of weather forecasting and flight service support a mere reliable phone line away.