20 July 2013
MY AFRICA JOURNAL
As you have probably guessed, I did not have time (nor consistent internet service) to post here while in Africa, but the trip was absolutely amazing! Honestly, there are not words enough to express what this journey has meant to me. I prayed for God to use this trip to draw me closer to Him and He definitely has! I am still processing everything I saw, and did, while there. I don't want to forget a single thing!
I have thought about it and I think the best way to post about my trip is to record my daily journal here... So, even though I have been home almost 2 weeks, I will be posting as though I am there now. And I'll throw in a few pictures, too!
Day 1/2 -- Sunday/Monday, 30 June & 1 July 2013:
I started my anti-malarial last night and it made me so sick! I don't think I slept at all, so hopefully, I'll get to sleep on the plane!
Our team met at the church and then drove to New Orleans for the first leg of our journey. We flew from N.O. to Atlanta then boarded our flight, non-stop to Johannesburg. At the gate in Atlanta was this very clear warning not to buy any animal/poached products while in Africa:
The flight was rather uneventful, but unfortunately, I did NOT sleep. I was seated between two people I did not know, and as I have trouble sleeping on planes anyway, I finally gave up trying. I think I dozed for 1 hour out of the 16 hour flight!
When we finally arrived in Johannesburg, South Africa, it was Monday night and we were all exhausted!
My first impression of Africa was the smell of spices... and clove cigarettes. The airport felt enormous and I'm sure there was a lot of interesting things to see, but the only thing I wanted was a BED. I was so tired, I could hardly think straight. Before long, our driver arrived and we were off to African Dreams Guesthouse.
Stepping out into the South African night, we were all shocked by the blast of frosty air. Oh, yeah... it's winter here. There were bags to unload and rooms to locate, but soon we all congregated in the private board room where we were served a delicious, hot meal of beef stew over rice and butternut squash. Now, I have never really loved butternut squash, but my friend Susan -- who lived in Africa for many years -- had told me that it doesn't taste the same in Africa. While it can be very bitter here, in Africa, it is very sweet. And she wasn't kidding! The squash was my favorite thing on the plate! The food was so good, we wasted no time in eating and we were so tired, hardly anyone spoke a word.
We each headed to our rooms and went right to sleep. Tomorrow, we would begin the journey from South Africa to Swaziland. Even though I could barely keep my eyes open, I said a prayer of thanks and smiled to myself. Finally, I was in Africa!