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Friday, August 15, 2008

Not quite there yet....

I think today has been the longest day of my life. I was up at 3am to get to the airport by 5am. I have now been awake for 27 hours and unfortunately have only made it to Johannesburg. I was delayed 7 hours in Sydney because there were "engineering problems" with the plane. In other words, there were fumes in the cabin and no one knew where they were coming from.
The time in Sydney was not too bad. Travelling alone seems to make me a magnet for anyone who wants a chat. I spoke with a couple from Zimbabwe- they had been kicked off their farm and it was fascinating hearing first hand how they live under Magabe's regime. I then spoke to another man who lives in Johannesburg and again, it was fascinating to hear how he lives. I then met another couple who live in Jo'Burg but had been in Australia looking at their options to immigrate. They are astounded by the freedom the Australian lifestyle allows- something I think we all take for granted.
I had another brush with fame today. The Australian Wallabies (a rugby union team for my non-aussie friends) were on the flight. I recognised a few faces, but Loti Ticquiri is the only name that I can "drop". I found it somewhat ironic that they were sitting in business class about to be payed thousands of dollars for playing a rugby game, whilst I sat in economy about to be paid nothing for helping the sick....
Arriving at Jo'Burg airport was terrifying- it was pure chaos and I have to admit, it was the first time I had some tears in my eyes. I had no idea what to do as I had obviously missed my connection to Swaziland. I have learnt my first lesson about getting around in Africa- Money talks. I would hold up some cash and ask for directions and suddenly these African men were bending over backwards trying to help me. I am now in a beautiful hotel near the airport and hopefully I will get on a 10am flight to Swaziland. I'm still really buzzing about the whole experience, so I'm going to have a shower and then take my magic pills which will hopefully put me in a deep slumber. I have to admit, I fear what will be in my dreams. My good friend Darren Powrie planted a seed in my mind the other day- he told me I had a good chance of getting worms. He also gave me a textbook on parasites which I started to read whilst on the plane. I was absolutely horrified by what they could potentially do to me- crawling into my skin, spreading to my lungs, liver and then blood stream. Forget malaria and HIV, I'm now more worried about worms. It would be most unglamorous to be diagnosed with worms.
Hopefully my next post will be from Swaziland.

3 comments:

Trent Y said...

Worms may not be glamorous, but I wouldn't sweat it. Albendazole is cheap!
Good luck with the connections & safe travels.

Louise H said...

I agree with Trent (and he'd know having just done ID). I feel your frustration at the delays (despite the fact they are part and parcel of travel) having spent many hours at border crossings and in dodgy airport hotels all part of the adventure. I'm sure it will all work out, although you may have to adjust to africa-time. Let me know your first impressions of Swaziland. Take care

Bryan said...

oh Mel! how distressing to be delayed and miss connecting flights! forget the worms - just take regular 'prophylactic' magic pills and 'expel' them from your mind (haha)