Sorry for my absence for the past few weeks. There are two good reasons: the demise of my blackberry, and the arrival of my DAD in South Africa!! Dad came for about 8 days, and we managed to pack a LOT of stuff into those few days, which left no time for blogging. I’ll probably write a few posts about our trip, so this one doesn’t
My host family.
become insanely long.
Dad flew in on the 23rd of March, and I stopped by Spar in Hatfield to buy him a few Mountain Dews and hopped aboard the Gautrain to meet him at the airport. I had to wait almost a whole 1.5 hrs for him to walk through the gate, and when he did, this was our conversation:
Dad: I have to go through customs. Where is customs?
Jen: You just walked past customs.
Dad: No, I have to go through customs. There was a sign.
Jen: Yeah, and the sign pointed to the counter and you walked through the exit. Let’s go before they realize you skipped customs.
The NEW tar road TO my village.
Joburg customs is a joke. We found our rental car, and I had a lot of fun watching him get used to driving a car where “everything is backwards”. He did pretty well at staying on his side of the road….that day. We made it to Pretoria before sunset, and grabbed some pizza at my favorite backpackers, Khayalethu. He got to meet a TON of PCVs, many of whom were excited to meet him because meeting parents is just fun. We hit the hay early for a long drive to my site the next day.
After a mishap with my new phone’s alarm, we started only about half an hour late, and I only got us a little bit lost. Or drive was a little longer than expected because I was getting used to my new phone, and got us a little lost a few times, but not horribly lost. In desperation we stopped at Wimpys for breakfast at around 10am. I had forgotten how horrible Wimpys food is, and apparently had just gotten used to it. They brought out the plates and Dad took one bite….then I remembered how awful the food really is. His face was quite hilarious though.
Kids in the village.
After an uneventful drive….well uneventful for Africa which meant driving through an active construction zone….we made it to Vryburg, which Dad immediately announced as sketchy. We stopped and bought an insane amount of groceries as we had a car, then I took over the wheel and drove to my village. That was really exciting, to DRIVE into my village. We had several conversations like this:
Dad: Now those, are those houses for animals?
Me: No, those are houses for people.
Dad: No, those short ones with the metal. Those can’t possibly be people houses.
Me: Those are houses for people.
The Tuck Shop.
We stopped at my school, toured the garden, then I drove happily to my house, waving to my surprised host family. Dad had fun meeting them, me acting as the translator, and giving them little gifts from America. We went on a walk to the edge of my village, stopped by a soccer game, and went to the village shop to buy cold drink aka Coke. Then I cooked up a dinner as he slept, then wandered around my yard asking too many questions and taking a ton of pictures. It was a nice night in the village. Of course, a rain storm blew in, knocked the power out, and we spent some time chatting by candle light. He got the full African Village experience! Some people pay money to do such things on holiday! 🙂
Kids who push the donkey carts to haul water.
The next day was spent on an even longer drive back past Pretoria to Mpumalanga, but I managed to get us not-as-lost that time. The next stage of our trip was the typical African holiday experience.