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the way across the pond

January 3, 2009

I haven’t been able to write since I left the US due to terrible internet connections, and now that I’m finally able to there is so much to write about.

I can’t remember the last time I was as anxious going to the airport as I was on Sunday. I had packed my bags (without the copious lists of previous African adventures), traded my trips, and done everything I could think of to prepare. Connecting in Dakar, Senegal had me a little concerned, as did being on an airplane for 19 hours. I haven’t done it in a long time and was wondering if I’d be able to. It’s also said that people get bumped off flying through Dakar due to weight and the flights being oversold.

I finally made it on the flight – missing business class by one person. In spite of my disappointment, I was pleased to find out the movies were free and on demand, and I was seated by the window next to a guy who didn’t smell, didn’t have a baby, and preferred sleep to anything else. During the flight leg of the flight (a mere 8 hours) I watched 7 TV shows and two movies.

During the 1.5 hour layover in Dakar, where they somehow managed to clean the plane with us still on it and do a complete security search, I was able to migrate to the front of the plane. Here I was treated like the queen I am, given breakfast, and a champagne glass that never seemed to empty. After that it was about 3am according to my body, and I slept the rest of the flight.

Adri and her cousin picked me up at the airport and we went to her aunt’s place. Just on the drive to the house I was reminded of so many things I’d forgotten about South Africa. It takes a few minutes to get used to being on the opposite side of the road and the car. Stop lights are robots. Stop signs are stop streets. Trucks are bakkies. You don’t buy a soda at a gas station. You buy a cool drink at the petrol shop. The walls and fences that surround every house were also a harsh reminder of how rough it is down here.

I made it through a nice dinner and conversation about the family, rugby, and cricket (there was a huge match coming on at 1am they were going to get up to watch) before washing the last 24 hours of grime off and passing out. There was a fierce African rainstorm that helped me sleep solidly through their night (my afternoon and evening).

We’re headed to the beach in the morning so I need to try to sleep now. I’ve been trying not to get too adjusted to the time here, but it leaves me tired all the time, so now I just sleep whenever I can. More to come.

One Comment leave one →
  1. January 4, 2009 15:02

    Hurry on home babe. You can use my computer anytime you like as I have a wonderful connection. xo

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