Tuesday, July 31, 2007
“I can live without toothpaste but not without my iPod.” Said on the way to the JFK airport. I mean, really, the things I say.
I had to be to the church at 12:30pm to leave for the trip. The plan was for everyone to load their luggage into the van at the church and all go as a group to the airport. I think I checked to make sure I had my plane ticket and passport every two minutes on the way to the airport. Being my first international flight I wanted everything to go smoothly. I was glad that two people on our trip had been to Malawi before and could navigate the traveling process with me. I am a pretty light traveler so I just had my backpack to go through security. I was dressed in my traveling gear- yoga pants, t-shirt (thanks to Tiffy, you were there with me sis) and sandals. The flight from JFK was to take about 18 hours (and it did) with one stop in Dakar, Senegal for refueling. I had had the intention to read the first Harry Potter on the plane but was dazzled by the screens in the back of the seats on the plane. I watched 3 movies (300 two big thumbs down, I Think I Love My Wife two thumbs up, Music and Lyrics one up and one down) then played a little black jack on the games section. I was never really able to get any good sleep but napped enough to feel ok. The most distressing part of the flight- my calves, ankles and feet were swollen to the point I couldn’t get my sandals back on! They had become one big mass connected to my knee!
We arrived in Johannesburg about 5:30pm on Wednesday afternoon. I walked out of the airport and literally my breath was taken away at the sunset in Johannesburg. The sky was so big!!! Oranges and light blues danced with each other as the sun said goodbye for the day. We stayed in a hotel close to the airport for the night before departing for Malawi the next day. Everyone was so tired but made it to the dinner buffet. I can’t say that I tried anything all that exotic. I tried, nsima, a ground cornmeal type food that looks like mashed potatoes but very stiff. I bought a few postcards to send home. After dinner, all I could think about was sleep. Before I turned in for the night, I showered, wrote my few postcards then crashed. After years of dreaming, I was in Africa.