cape town – getting here

getting there: sunday 13 san francisco 8:50 am

this trip has been 4 years in the making. it’s been planned, postponed, passport obtained in jan 2008 but surgeries, job changes, promotions, graduations and life continued to stand in the way of me and my journey across the world.

visiting my aunt, watching her work has been something I’ve wanted to do. from the time she was working in paris until now. she is my personal role model, the closest thing I have had to seeing a woman go after her goals, achieve them and raise her children along the way to be strong productive adults.

this trip was planned before the world wind apple transition, before the move to san francisco, and I’m happy these 2 weeks have been able to be accommodated by the new team. what wasn’t planned was the sudden influenza that attacked our home. scheduled to leave early saturday morning, I was trying to get last-minute things taken care of on Friday night manicure, brows waxed…stuff like that. I knew he had stayed home from work Thursday and Friday due to cough, but by the time I got home there was major illness going on. fever, chills, cough, delirium (it was bad). how do you pack and plan to take a 29 hour trip with your SO is crazed with flu?? needless to say, I didn’t. took the over the counter cold/flu remedies, took the temp through the night, called the nurse line even when things were at their worse and in the morning I called the airline to change my ticket. I needed to get him to a doctor, see exactly what we were dealing with and then take my trip from there.
dr. “see ya on saturday-membership healthcare” saw us, and was actually great. my mister definitely had the full blow version of the flu, and to be quite honest, I don’t think I had ever met the flu before. he got some codeine cough meds, and tamiflu to kill the virus in 5 days. knowing that I had been exposed to this ugly ugly sickness and wasn’t trying to make friends with it I asked if there was a chance this was contagious and if so what I needed to do. I learned that influenza is a social virus and it loves to meet as many new people as possible – sign me up for that tamiflu as well.

doc gave me a note to get my flight change fees waived, good karma pays back good karma! the initial change was done at 4 am on saturday prior to my 7:50 am flight. the agent wasn’t so helpful, and I ended up with a ticket 7 days away leaving my 2 week planned trip cut in half. once we had the diagnosis, and the medication I called delta and ended up with the what I had originally requested – a flight the next day.

sunday 13 atlanta ga, – 6:30 pm

airports, flights, people and their attitudes – wow! crossing the pond at the smallest point – didn’t know this is how it happened. fly north to nova scotia and cross over.
the cutest baby was in front of me traveling from Atlanta to mumbi via Amsterdam. With her was her mom and her grandmother who was more of a handful than the baby. She appeared to be very old – in her 90’s maybe and she was being taken back to India to live. the mom was very brave, but she said when there is no choice to travel with your baby and elder mom, you’re not brave, you’re just doing what has to be done.

so only an hour left on this flight and then it’s the big daddy of my legs – 11hrs from Amsterdam to Cape Town. we just flew over Ireland and we’re headed over the body of water between Ireland and England. It’s crazy that I’ve come all this way.

monday 14 amsterdam nl, – 10:30 am

met a few nice people traveling to CPT from NC and ATL. we hung out in the airport, trying to get connected to wifi with barely any luck, went through the full body imaging security scanners and talked about our strategy to make it through the 11 plus hour flight. I was going to try to sleep during the first half and stay awake at the end. No such luck. window seats are not kind, economy is not kind. cream cheese sandwich is bizarre and water in a little jello cup is interesting. I am definitely not in kansas anymore. we are flying almost straight down Africa’s northern half and hitting the western coast at the horn (port harcourt). everything is in Dutch, first languages spoken for announcements are not mine, and I wonder how the ‘amazing racers’ do this….
can’t get past the cigarette smell on this plane, it’s like it’s a a part of the walls, and seats. crazy – it’s night outside, we’ve flown from morning to night. it will be close to 12 hours, seen sun up and sun down. slept a few hours, mind over matter with the claustrophobic feeling of my legs being in this tight space, and finally settled in with two movies, a few meals and some small talk. man I need a shower!!

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