I MADE IT!!! I am at the O.R. Tambo Airport in Johannesburg (Iâ€™m happy that doesnâ€™t stand for Operating Room! It is actually named after former South African President Oliver Tambo). The flight made it in about 20 minutes early, and I am presently waiting on a few of my colleagues who are flying in from Lagos. They will be arriving in about 15 minutes, so Iâ€™m taking this time to upload a brief blog just to let my TB friends know that I landed safely.
I thought the flight from Amsterdam to Nairobi last summer was long, but this flight never seemed to end.
We did make a stop in Dakar Senegal for refueling, but were not allowed to get off the plane. It feels so wonderful to walk around and stretch, and to let the blood flow to my legs and butt once again! Haha! But I did fly business class and had a super comfortable seat. South Africa Airways is a really nice airline, (at least thatâ€™s my first impression) and the jet I flew on was like new. The food was typical airline cuisine, but our stewardess was the best! She is from Johannesburg and was eager to give me a wealth of information and hot tips! I even recruited her to Travbuddyâ€¦weâ€™ll see if she signs up, though. There were about 30 movies to select from during the flight and I think I watched nearly half of them. The lady sitting beside me was discussing the idea of being able to log on and use the internet while in flightâ€¦wouldnâ€™t that help time pass by more quickly???
Checking out the trip progress...barely out of NYC.
My entire luggage arrived with me (thank God!), and after getting through customs quite efficiently, my first stop was exchanging U.
S. dollars for some Randâ€¦the currency used here. I havenâ€™t stepped outside, yetâ€¦but they said on the plane that the temperature was 66F (19C), though the forecast for tonight is supposed to be 42F (6C)! Brrrrrrrr!!!! 42 is cold considering I just came from 90 degree weather. Anyway, Iâ€™m glad I brought that jacket!
Late night dinner, and halfway across the Atlantic.
I think I slept maybe 5 or 6 hours on the flight and am feeling pretty well rested. Or maybe itâ€™s just the adrenaline rush that is giving me that rested feeling! At any rate, Iâ€™m too excited to be sitting here with my laptop, although Iâ€™m glad they have wifi here so that I can upload this entry and a few photos.
So now I will venture off to the gate to meet my friends, and then weâ€™ll be getting a ride to our hotelâ€¦the Palazzo Hotel and Casino. Later this evening weâ€™ll be meeting up with a few more of our team members (who are presently attending a Nelson Mandela birthday celebration in Port Elizabeth) for dinner and then perhaps a little partyingâ€¦South African style!!! I may get a chance to update this later tonight or in the morning.
If not, my next entry will be from Maputo.
Tanesha is on the left!
Until then, â€˜Baai, geniet jou dagâ€™, which means good bye and enjoy your day in Afrikaans, one of the official languages here. The stewardess (Tanesha is her name) gave me a quick lesson on how to pronounce this and a few other common phrases that might come in handy. Thankfully, though, English is a very common language in Johannesburg.
Also, I was pleasantly surprised to see my first entry from yesterday featured! WOW! Thanks to everyone for visiting and I wish you could all be here with me!!!