I awoke and took a sweet smelling shower with a showerhead that was on the ceiling. Odd, hard to keep my hair dry, but kinda fun.
I waited until I HAD to check out to go to the airport. I was dropped off at the OR Tambo airport in Johannesburg at 11 am, and had 8 more hours to kill before getting on my flight to America.
No one was awake in America yet, so it made no sense to get on the internet. I just ate, so I couldn’t eat at any of the restaurants. I decided to spend the last of the rand I had, since it wasn’t enough money to take back to America. (only about 15 dollars) I spent it on some neat things including a cool bracelet that gave a dollar to anti-malaria efforts.
Which I promptly put on and found highly amusing since I was currently fighting off malaria.
I spent the rest of my money and still had WAY too much time to kill, so I walked around.
Which was great because there was a high school choir singing in front of a light up reindeer. It was precious. I watched them sing and dance to a few Christmas songs and instantly missed my good friend Diana. I usually share the first Christmas song of the season with her. No problems.
I made my way through security and too my gate as soon as I could. No sense in not getting there early. When I got to my gate there was an EXTRA search for all the people flying to America. Everyone received a pat down and a bag search. Which was the first time I had ever gotten a pat down. Ever.
They also gave “extra” bag checks to random people as we boarded the plane. I guess we can’t be too safe. I watched my last African sunset for the year from the airport terminal. It was breathtaking, like they all are. Not too many other travelers noticed it.
It made me instantly miss the kids in Tanzania. And my nightly walks in Zambia. And the precious “simpleness” that life has in rural Africa. No one is in a hurry. No one needs more stuff. People work hard. People take long lunch breaks. People enjoy the simple things in life.
They don’t take things for granted. They love deeply.
God, help me be more like that when I return to America.
I took my last malaria pill. I felt SO much better than I did 3 days ago when I started the pills. I’m thankful God cured me before my 16 hour flight to Atlanta. I really wanted to be able to sleep and eat on the plane. I thought about the 24 mosquito bites I received 2 Sunday nights ago when I stayed out past dark to watch the girls sing. I wished I had run back up to my room to put on bug spray. I wished I had enjoyed their singing AND kept myself protected from mosquitos. But all I could think about at the time was watching the girls and telling them how beautifully they sang and how precious they were.
Because I had a mom and dad who told me that when I was a little girl. They loved me, encouraged me, and watched me when I sang and danced. They made me feel beautiful and precious. I want that for every little girl.
How is a girl supposed to know how much our Father in Heaven loves us if she’s never felt important and special to someone on earth? How do they even to begin to comprehend that feeling.
If I had to return and do life all over again, I’d have put on bug spray before dinner. I wouldn’t have left while they were singing. It was too captivating to leave.
I just want all children to know how much God loves them. To know how important and special they really are.
To be able to be loved and show love for His glory.
I watched a few hundred (well, 3) movies on the plane. I slept too. I was against the window and there was a girl in the aisle seat. No one was in the middle, which was wonderful. Such a blessing.
We landed in Atlanta finally and I took my trash to throw it away in one of the flight attendant bags. They didn’t have one, so I figured I’d throw it away in one of the trash cans on the way to customs.
There wasn’t one so I threw it away just outside customs.
Which got me yelled at. I wasn’t allowed to throw food away in their trash can. I explained that it came from the plane, it was just empty wrappers and a still-wrapped muffin. The lady wanted me to fish it out of the trash can, declare it on my customs forms, and throw it away after customs. I looked at her like she was crazy. Really?? Declare my airplane muffin on the customs forms? She told me the ham in my muffin couldn’t be disposed of there. I told her my muffin didn’t have ham. It was a chocolate muffin.
Last. Time. I. Ever. Throw. Airplane. Trash. Away.
She let me go through customs. I got asked what I did in Zambia and Tanzania and South Africa. I explained what I did. The customs guy let me through. Finally.
|if you look really close you can see another airplane|
I made the short trip from Atlanta to Dallas. I was greeted at the airport by Ryan and some beautiful Sunflowers, my fall favorite flower! They were beautiful. It is SO good to be home!
Everything is so soft and so cold and so loud and so fast.
I stared at my phone for 5 minutes trying to remember what all the buttons did and why I was ever so attached to it.
My life is boring again now. I’ll try to keep blogging though. Something exciting is bound to happen.