I sat in O.R. Tambo eagerly awaiting Flight 8867. I sat and watched people rushing to make their flights, chatting while waiting on loved ones to arrive, eating out of boredom (maybe that was just me), and doing a number of unusual things to simply make the time pass more quickly. Stories flashed through my mind as I people-watched under three stories of eclectic, buzzing people.
That tall brunette guy standing with the baby satchel strapped to his chest looks very uncomfortable—almost as uncomfortable as the limp, slightly overweight sleeping baby he’s carrying. He’s beyond excited probably waiting for his wife to get back from her business trip. Mostly so that he doesn’t have to bear the weight of this child alone.
Ugh, children! In any other setting most people could find these annoying little creatures amusing and endearing, but never after waking up at 3am, fighting airport traffic and finding the right terminal. No one is in a mood for dodging loud kids rolling around playing on the floor where everyone is walking. Certainly not after a full-day flight, maneuvering through customs and waiting in baggage claim. Every person in the world hates kids at the airport and agrees that there is no reason on God’s green earth that you should let your kids run amok around complete strangers like this. (In retrospect, I think this was a long rant I had to myself)
Weathered skin. As wide as they are tall. Even the grandmother looks like a football lineman from behind. They are definitely Afrikaners from South Africa! They probably just got back from rugby match or letting the son attend a high-school rugby camp. (Because Afrikaners don’t do anything else outside of rugby.)
That poor old lady will for sure miss her connecting flight. I can tell by the urgency in her face as she asks the porter for the way to her terminal. Her panic sets in when the porter checks his watch, looks back at her and their eye contact says everything without words being necessary. He grabs her bag and they both take off at a jog to the right terminal. I can’t help but think of the classic airport scene from Home Alone…
This guy is sitting alone typing away on his iPhone like a nerd. He’s probably playing Risk or some other phone game. He’s probably beyond excited to as he waits for the girlfriend he has been apart from for over a year now. He’s people watching and keeps checking the arrivals board as if the time is going to change with every glance.
I can say that the last story is undoubtedly true. I was so excited to see Hannah again! 386 days had passed since we had last been together and these last few hours of waiting in the airport seemed to be the longest yet.
It’d take a book of pictures and a day’s worth of explanations to say it all, but I will attempt to do our journey justice through a picture blog with short descriptions.
We stayed in Lesotho for two weeks and then rented a car and traveled South Africa for almost three weeks. We traveled to Cape Town and then took the beautiful Garden Route all the way up the coast to where we ended in Swaziland. Over 5,500 km (3,400 miles) of excitement and adventure. Here are some pictures to highlight our trip (hover the mouse over a picture to see the full caption):
PART ONE: LESOTHO
It was great seeing such a beautiful face again after a year. Still gorgeous after two full days of travel!
Our first date was great! First good beer I’ve had in a year!
A little bit of our Basotho home cooking.
My little sister loved having Hannah around.
She taught Hannah all the Sesotho basics.
We did a little bit of hiking around my village
A man and young boy herding their cattle.
While Hannah was here, I got a new house mate, Mushu
With a new cat, we needed to get some natural kitty litter from the river
Not quite fly enough for these little buddies. They fell asleep at my place while we were cooking dinner.
We’re going to the mountains! Road Trip faces on.
Horseback riding with my good PCV buddy, Eric in the Mokhotlong mountains.
We popped over to Sani Pass for a day. A must-see if visiting Lesotho.
Sani Pass is home to the highest pub in Africa
Looking out into South Africa towards the Indian Ocean from Sani Pass.
Many people don’t believe me at first when I tell them it snows here
It was a stunning view from the top. And FREEZING.
It was neat getting to live in a thatched-roof hut together for a while. But we had to pack up and get ready for our South Africa road trip!
We had a great time in Lesotho, but the best is yet to come in South Africa!
-Jody and Hannah