Jessica and I have been here in South Africa for one week now. We were pretty exhausted after our 18+ hour flight from Washington DC to Johannesburg. That was just time spent in the air. After we got off the plane we headed to baggage claim. To my surprise our bags came our quickly, but the carousel was very crowded with people trying to get their bags and be on their way. The next step was customs. I have to admit that I was a bit nervous about this, given that our airports are very strict when it comes to “security.” Going through customs in South Africa couldn’t have been easier. Jessica and I presented our passports to the lady, she stamped them and we moved on. 30 seconds. No questions or interrogations, it was refreshing to not be treated as a “suspect.” I think the fact that it was a Sunday night made things go more smoothly.
Following customs we headed to the arrivals hall. Here we were supposed to meet Ian. It was a really big circular room with hundreds of people in it waiting for their loved ones. We didn’t see Ian. We looked and looked and looked! We thought, being in a foreign country and all, that we were just stupid Americans who couldn’t even figure our how to find our host. Turns out Ian forgot to pick us up, he thought we were arriving the following day. Jessica and I decided that we had had enough of being whistled at and bothered by taxi drivers while waiting with our obnoxious amount of luggage. I’m not kidding, we had a lot of stuff. We decided to take action and call Ian.
Turns out this wasn’t so easy. First, we had to a find a place to make change. I must tell you that Jessica is smart and organized. Before we left the states we got about $300 worth of South African Rand (2,500 Rand after the conversion). She found a bank in the airport that gave us change so we could use a payphone. When we got the change I thought we were set! Turns out… not so much. First, we had to find a payphone that would actually accept our change. Many phones take cards nowadays. This darn technology I tell ya. Anyway, when we did find a phone that took coins, we tried to call Ian. The number I have for him was on his business card that he hands out when he travels internationally. Luckily we found someone in the baggage claim area who spoke excellent english and helped us decipher how to go about calling Ian. Turns out we didn’t need to dial the first two numbers in the number. We reached Ian and after a good laugh together he told us that his daughter lives in Johannesburg and she would be right over to pick us up.
Only about 20 minutes later Gina and George (Gina’s husband) arrived. It was great to see them as we were tired and a bit confused! George and Gina drove us to their wonderful house and fixed us an excellent meal. They showed us to our bedroom and Jessica and I basically slept for the next 24 hours. George and Gina’s hospitality was greatly appreciated and welcome after that long journey.
I’ll keep you updated as to what has been happening here at the farm shortly. I hope you are all doing well!