Wednesday, October 05, 2011
Swaziland part 1
I want to try to get all of my thoughts down about the amazing trip that I experienced - I just don't know if I've processed everything enough to do it justice. I'm going to try to give it a go and see where it takes me.
It was less than 30 hours before I was to leave. The kids were playing outside and I was standing in the kitchen with Dustin. I turned and looked at him and the tears started to flow. "I don't want to go anymore," I said to him, "I can't leave you and the kids, I don't know what I'm going to see over there... what if it's too much?" Dustin was a champion, as he was with all of my end-of-pregnancy-meltdowns. He calmed me down. Reminded me why I started this adventure in the first place.
3 a.m. Saturday morning came quickly. The kids had insisted that I wake them up to give them a final hug goodbye. Saying goodbye to them and to Dustin was very hard. I have a bit of a pessimistic side and I thought "What if this is it?" Mike, Danielle, Mandy, Steve and Mike's dad (our chauffeur) were waiting for me in the giant van outside. 6 people, 20 large suitcases and several carry-ons ready to go.
We made it to the airport seamlessly. I was the only one who had to be rechecked at security because of one small bottle of lotion that wasn't in my ziploc bag. The flight to Atlanta was a breeze. While there, Mandy had to redo her tickets with her "passport name" on them so it was a good thing we had some time on our hands. We waited for our 3 Texas team members to fly in, out Colorado latch on to show, and our Alabama gal to drive to us. We hadn't met in person but had several video chats so at least it wasn't a blind date! As our team trickled in we shared hugs and stories and became more acquainted with each other. Steve even pulled out his bag of tricks and taught us a game called Liar's Dice to pass the time.
I talked to Dustin quick as we were getting ready to board the flight to Johannesburg. *Gulp* This was the big flight. The LONG one over the ocean. The flight itself is a bit of a blur for me. I watched 2 movies and slept on and off. My butt was sore and my legs were swollen but it didn't seem like the 16-17 hour flight that I was expecting. One thing I do remember - the food was TERRIBLE. Good thing I had some Reese's Pieces to snack on.
When we got off the plane and entered the airport Dennis (our A.I.M. guide - and maybe one of my favorite people that I met over there) and Elliott (our driver) were there to take charge. One night in J-Burg and then onto our real adventure... the kids of Swaziland!