Today I finish preparing for my trip to South Africa. I am mostly packed; I have antibiotics of all sorts (upper respiratory and lower GI), tickets, electrical adaptors/converters, Lidocaine patches for my hip, first aid kit,camera, sunscreen and 13 days worth of underwear, which I did not previously own.
Tomorrow morning, I will leave on the 7:38 train from Lynchburg, arriving in Manassas at 10-something. Jaime’s cousin, Jackie, and her baby, Sadie, will meet my train, after which we’ll have lunch together and travel to Dulles for my check-in. At this time, I’ll meet the other 7 people in my group, whom I have not laid eyes on before. Most of them are from Valdosta State College in Georgia, and our leader is a travel agent from outside of Richmond. Our flight departs at 5 pm. We will be on the plane for 18.5 hours straight (this includes a stop in Dakar, Senegal, for refueling). I am hoping that they actually let us off of the plane for a few minutes, but they may need the Jaws of Life to get me back on. We will land in Johannesburg, then have a layover and another puddle jumper to Cape Town. Altogether the air part of the journey will be about 23 hours including layovers. I am hoping that the first few days, while in Cape Town, I’ll have access to wifi and can journal.