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Botswana & South Africa

The Journey to Botswana

BOTSWANA | Monday, 24 February 2014 | Views [383]

When I woke up around 4:30am on Friday Feb 21, 2014 in Glendale, I was stricken with anxiety/panic over the fact that I'd be taken off to Africa for 3 weeks. I began hyperventilating as the shuttle rang they were there to pick me up. As much as I was looking forward to yet another adventure, the reality was a bit daunting because I'd be doing this trip on my own, for the most part. Back in May 2013 when this proposal to meet Dr. Nicole Monteiro at the U of Bots, this trip was to include Myisha. Sadly, she just couldn't join me. So, here I am on my own, once again. A matter of circumstances but if I don't end up doing trips solo, I won't ever get to do a travel since my buddies aren't always in a position to join me. So, lets recap since leaving LAX!

Slept most of the way from LAX to ATL, less than 5 hours. While waiting for connection at ATL, caught up on work work. ATL to JNB flight was 15 hours. I sat next to this young lady and her 3 y/o (Raymond) and 8 mos old (Vivian) and husband stationed in Germany. Her son has a spinal condition that's causing his spinal cord to atrophy. The doctors have no idea what's causing it but the little one uses a walker since his motor skills are damaged. When I initially sat down I was nervous being "stuck" next to little ones but when I remembered seeing the boy with his walker, I soften up. I'm glad I did. Sitting next to them wasn't bad at all although mom thought their behavior was worse than usual.

Flight to Jo'burg was uneventful for the most part. Although, I did sit next to this marvelous woman (Tosca)who spends most of her time between Jo'burg and Ohio. She owns a commercial pig farm in Jo'burg so we talked about that. She bought her ex-husband out of the business years ago and she's been the head honcho in a male dominated industry. She offered to give me a tour when I get back to Jo'burg. I'm really looking forward to it. A bit apprehensive at first since the farm is definitely free range. She told me how the regulations are different and much stricter. Eh, I'll give her the benefit of the doubt and will take her up on her offer. I slept for most of the flight especially once my tablet was running out of battery while reading "Netsuke".

I arrived in Jo'burg around 4:30 pm Sunday, Feb 22, hoping I'd be able to lounge around the airport until my flight the following afternoon since I had not booked any place to stay the night but O.R. Tambo is not like Dubai airport. So, reluctantly I took the advice of the information woman and decided to stay at a hotel. Well, pleasant surprise! Found myself at this quaint, reasonably priced place about 15 min from airport. The owners are British (husband) & Ugandan (wife) — at The Blue Mango Lodge. I felt so comfortable there, after long talks with wifey and eventually hubb that I booked to return on March 14-17.

So, the following are other updates I posted on FB since the adventure began.

Flying out of ATL on Feb 21Umm, I was spoiled flying first class from NY on Monday! Now this flight to SA doesn't even have charger/USB outlets. Grrrr, I should have flown Emeriates Air! Travel brat, yes!

Dear Fielding Instructors, I really don't want to write any papers or post any assignments while I'm away. Technically, I am getting my edumacation hands on! Did I not mention I'll be at the Uni of Botswana? Grrrr! Back at airport for flight to Botswana and homework on my mind — feeling irritated.
I have arrived! Local time/date 10:11 am on Sunday Feb 23! Super excited but very sleepy & tired. — at Mondior Gaborone.
IIIITTTAAAIII!!! Massive headache all day. I can't recall ever being this jetlagged. Been sleeping all day & about to go back to sleep after only being up less than an hour. I brought all other types of meds with me but nothing for headache. Foolishly left it behind purposely because I rarely get headaches so didn't feel like packing more drugs. Grrrr!feeling pained.

I was so foggy earlier that I couldn't post my excitement! I MET HER, I MET HER!!! After 6 years of correspondence I finally met the lovely, Dr Montiero and her adorable 3 year old daughter, Fati! She came by my hotel, took me for quick tour of UB and as jetlagged as I was I stumbled over my words, saying something foolish, "you look much better in person". What I meant was that the pix I've seen of her falls short.Yep, I was starstrucked in a geeky kind of way! This fabulous young lady is doing the global stuff I aspire to do. She is absolutely a BBBW!! ok, back to sleep for me, 4:37am (Monday). BBBW=Beautiful Black Brainy Woman!!

So later today, Mon 2/24, after Dr. M. finishes taking her mom on errands (her mom has been with her several months since her Senegalese husband has been away on business. Her mom leaves on Tues) she will come for me around 2pm, take me to riverwalk to get phone/sim card then we will hash out detail of rest of week. She made several suggestions last night, one being visiting the police station/officers since she is involved with the "traffic psychology" project and maybe going to visit a diamon mine. Time for me to get something to eat. I slept on/off all day upon my arrival with no interest in food since the headach was so overwhelming. (10:15 am, Mon March 24).


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