Travel Reflection

Hello South Africa; we safely made it!

Though I was very excited about studying abroad in South Africa, there were some issues that I was just as concerned about.  They were (1) being able to pack one bag for a four month stay, (2) being able to endure the long flight to South Africa and (3) being able to endure a four month stay without getting homesick.

With today being my first day in South Africa, I unable to rate the final success of my packing.  I probably won’t be able to rate my success until the end of the trip; then I’ll be able to determine what I could have left and/or what I should have brought.  I can say that it was successful enough to pass the weight requirements of the airport, which I was truly worried about.  Before we left home, my son weighed my luggage on the scale and said I was 10 pounds over.  I was so distraught from stressing on what to bring and what not to bring, I decided that I would have to pay for the extra weight.  So when I checked in at the airport, put my luggage on the scale, I was ready to pay an enormous charge.  The scale said 26 kilograms and the representative did not mention paying an extra fee; so whew, I passed!

The other concern with my luggage was that I had a carryon bag and a tote bag, which was also a luggage violation.  We were told that we could only bring one carry-on bag.  Yet, I felt I need to bring a blanket and some snacks that could not fit in my luggage. Again my son was the parent, reminding me that I could not carry on two bags.  Again, because I had been so stressed with packing, I concluded that I had to take my chances.  And again it worked; no one said anything about my two bags!

I love to travel, but I hate to fly, which generated my next concern; the long flight to South Africa.  Be six feet tall and a bit overweight has always caused flying to be a challenge for me.  It’s like folding this large body frame into a compact space and holding it for hours!  Initially, I was under the impression that it would be a 20 hour flight; 10 hours to London and 10 hours to South Africa.  I was mistaken about the London flight, because it only took 5 ½ hours.  The other 5 hours were due to the time difference in the States and London; so again, another triumph!  I was very surprised when the pilot announced that we should prepare for landing. I thought, “What; that didn’t take that long!”  Then I looked at my watch and realized that it was 2:00 am at home and it dawned on me, “Oh, it’s a time change; so, it really wasn’t a 10 hour flight!”

The treat of our travel was our layover in London, England.  We were picked up at the London International Airport by Golden Tours and were guided by an exceptional guide tour, Drew Davis.

He was very patient and knowledgeable about London.  He drove us were we needed to go, walked us to our destination, purchased our tickets for us and waited for our return.  We toured the Tower of London, the Crown Jewels and the London Eye.  We ate a to-go lunch from Ted’s Fish & Chips.  Never in a million years did I think I would ever travel to London.  As Amber said, “Well, well, well, would you look at this; we are in London!”

The flight to Cape Town from London was a little over a 10 hour flight and it was hard to endure.  The first problem was my seat was a window seat, which meant I had to fold up even smaller.  What helped my situation was that I was seated next to a really petite lady that was not only nice, but helpful as well.  She was born in Cape Town and was returning home from being in the United States for six years.  She was not one of those people that got agitated being seated next to a big person and when I accidentally touch her.  She helped me feel a little better about sitting in the window seat.  Additionally, she had to show me how to operate the controls on my seat panel for the TV.

Though things went better than I had anticipated with getting to South Africa, I arrived with excruciating lower back pain.  I clearly hear in my head, my son’s most important requests; “Mom, don’t be the one that can’t/don’t keep up with the group!”  Now that we are here, my challenge is getting rid of this back pain in order to keep up with the group, participate in everything (except swimming with the sharks) and successfully accomplishing the daily challenges of studying in South Africa.

19 thoughts on “Travel Reflection

  1. I’m so proud of you godmommie! I pray that God will keep you safe, and that you enjoy this journey of your life! You truly enjoy EVERY moment of it! With love, April!

  2. i enjoyed reading this post and look forward to many more! some of the challenges that you mentioned are the same ones i deal with when i travel, so i applaud you not letting those fears hold you back! dr. moyer

  3. I hope it is a great experience for you. My only concern would be getting ice considering I like everything very cold. I am glad you made it safely .

  4. Hey Demi, you made it, that,s your first accomplishment. Second to see London and be able to visit was an extra treat. Your journal has given us your insights and we are now with you on this. For your back pain, if you can find a wrap ( like a sweat belt) wrap your lower back especially for long walks and sitting wrap it firmly around lower back and mid-section and it will help with the pressure and pain. I am so proud of you this is a wonderful scarey journey and your my hero! Have fun take it slow, be safe and look forward to following you on this journey of a life time. Yvonnr

  5. Soror, I’m so happy you decided to take on this venture. Everywhere we go there is a sister keeping us, I’m glad you were lucking enough to sit next to one. Girl go out show the others how Sigma girls get down. Love you Soror

    • Did you like living in England? What city did you live in? London looks like it’s very expensive to live there; pretty much like New York.

  6. Congratulation on your arrival in London; how long was the layover? Two of my grandsons, Joshua and Luke, and their mother, Terena live in London; I dont know how far the landing was from them. Before your return; you should call them to check their distant and time, to see if they will come and meet and greet you. If they have appropriated time; maybe, they can come by to say, hello. Terena telephone number is: oversea (011) England (44) city code (1) Phone (206-523127) and Luke is 07791344090. Yes; that time zone does make a different, if it 8:00 a.m. here it is 1:00 p.m. there.

    One day we will listen to our children, especially when they are repeating our teaching back in our face, and when it is document in the Bible that The little children will lead, out of the mouths of babes. The Heavenly Father has Blessed you on that Stubborn spirit; praise he for trying to look out for you. The old slogan is God lookout for Babies and Fools; not saying that you are a baby neither a fool, its Gods way saying I Love you and that I will Protect your innocent, excitement: by letting others overlook the importance of you going to South Africa. Praise God for the representation that Smile and said; Okay. Its a Blessing to get a Blessing, when you are giving Blessing.

    I can ID with the swimming. Oh boy; I love the window seat, lend on the window and mediate on the beautiful of whats God had created, and allowed someone too create the plane that you on, enjoy the elements of the clouds and landing, counting your blessing. Center seat you have two sleeping on you, the end seat, everyone is walking to and for the bathroom bumping up against you; center and end seat have to get up and let the window setter out.

    Thanks for learning what to take and not; so, when I go, I will be better equip when I go.

    Heavenly Father this pray is for the Illinois group that is in South Africa at Cape Town that my niece Demetris is traveling, learning, and serving with in your Name. Touch and protect them throughout the four months in their learning adventurous and bring each one back enriched about the world that You have created for us all to enjoy. Most Holy Demetris is or had back aggravation, put your Holy Healing arms around, on her back and remove the pain that is attempting to keep her from her daily and exciting tasks in South Africa; where she is service and learning; if it is in your will. Touch her with your mighty powerful healing of her entire body. Strengthen her when she is weak in Jesus Name. Heavenly Father touch each member of their team that they will keep you first in their life and journey in Africa that it is a totally success and full of learning. Father; show up and show out, in Jesus Name.

    Send up Grace and Mercy for You and the group X O X O Auntie

    Date: Fri, 2 Aug 2013 19:47:13 +0000 To: wearefamily4@live.com

  7. Enjoy Cape Town. Glad you made it safely. I will be leaving South Africa before you make it to my neck of the woods. I am headed back to the States at the end of August.

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