Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Journey Continues

Well here’s the second episode of my Christmas adventures. I figure I should probably get caught up to the current before next Christmas comes around. So after we got down to my parents’ house we left the next day to go with a volunteer group from South Africa to build a church way out in the boonies. We spent a few days there, stayed for the dedication and then headed back to Maputo. During this time I got to do some much missed driving, even if it was on the wrong side of the road and I had to shift left handed. Once we got back home the days became extremely relaxing. We’d wake up and then spend the day not having to do anything. Got lots of internet time in, watched pretty much all the seasons of Cosby show, and went swimming a few times in the pool.

We went to the beach one day. We drove up north of Maputo to a beach that you have to take a ferry to get to. The ferry was a really old boat that held maybe four cars precariously placed. Once we crossed the river we got to drive over a few kilometers of REALLY muddy roads. It was lots of fun going into mini lakes and hoping the truck didn’t totally submerge. At the beach we used a surfboard and a boogie board we had borrowed from my uncle to have some fun in the waves. My attempts at surfing never ended up amounting to much. Maybe next time. It was a steep beach so there were some large waves landing right on the beach. Each time trying to ride up to the beach ended up with one of us getting rolled through the water and bouncing of the bottom. I imagine I know what it would feel to get flushed down a toilet now.

Christmas was lots of fun. My mom gave us tons of food stuff to bring back up here which has been highly appreciated. On the 30th of December we drove over to South Africa and spent four nights and five days in a game park. We got to see pretty much all the good stuff. I got to see my first cheetahs in the wild, we saw lots of lions, a couple of leopards, lots of elephants (one herd numbering over a hundred), white and black rhino, and all the other ones. A couple of our campsites had hyenas walking on the other side of the fence, only a few feet away. Loads of good pictures and then we were back in Maputo. Our border crossing on the way back happened the last day of South African holidays so the line waiting to cross from the Mozambiquan side was like 10 km long. Ours thankfully wasn’t too bad. The next day my dad and I went to the US embassy to see if I could get more pages put in my passport. I was down to only two and a half blank visa pages and Neil and I still had a bunch of borders to cross before we go back to the States in June. When we first showed up they wouldn’t let us in because we hadn’t made an appointment. Then we were told that the lady who adds pages wouldn’t be in till later. So we drove all the way home and then a couple hours later we learned that she was in and could help us if we got right down there. After checking in to the embassy I only had to fill out one piece of paper and then twenty minutes later we were leaving and my passport was 25 pages thicker. It’s kind of crazy how they put in more than it comes with originally.
The next day we packed up our stuff and left super early in the morning in order to make it all the way to Johannesburg in time for our flight. After a goodbye and my mom giving us even more food to take we sat in the airport for a couple of hours until our flight left. Our flight into Dar landed at 7 or something and we cleared through immigration easily with our residence permits. Before leaving Dar on our way down we had made a reservation with the YWCA, where we were staying, for some nights in January on our way back. Upon arriving there the guy couldn’t find our names in the books but was nice enough to just let us sign in and then he gave us a room key. The next day we went to the airline office to try and get a flight back to Kigoma because after our train ride Neil had decided he wasn’t interested in ‘experiencing’ the train again:) We managed to pick up a couple round trip tickets without too much hassle, and then spent a couple more nights in Dar till our plane left. Once we got back to Heri everything settled into its normal routine except for a couple of changes. Two days after we got back Milton and Shirley left for Arusha up north and we were in charge of the construction for two weeks. Another difference is that there are a couple of new people here from Denmark, a doctor and a girl interested in becoming a doctor, and a doctor from Germany who just finished her schooling there. All those people are only here for a couple of months.

Well I hope this wasn’t too disjointed and some sense can be made out of it. Maybe in May I’ll put up another post of everything we’ve done:)....or maybe before then.


Anonymous said...

Anything happening up there since Christmas break? :)

Anonymous said...

Justin it was nice to read your side of the story as your Mom sent a report back also. I'm so glad you could have this time with family and relaxation plus the big thing - FOOD! You remain in my thoughts and prayers always. Vikki Hein