Flight to SA

The drive up to Heathrow was a breeze as the roads were clear. The couple I lived with plus my sister took me to the airport to start my adventure. I easily found our meeting point (outside the Wetherspoon’s) because terminal 2 was smaller than the map showed. While I was waiting for my flight team to arrive, the people who dropped me off had a coffee. Volunteers started gathering with faces I recognised from the orientation and Facebook.

Several messages came through to revealed that a volunteer plus the other team leader was delayed. We decided to check in and give in our bags. Quite a lot of the team had brought over-weight luggage but luckily the staff were being generous. We did, however, have an extra guitar with us so it was dropped off but the lady didn’t charge us. ‘Win,’ we thought.

We then discovered that the other team leader was stuck in Aberdeen due to a faulty plane and therefore would not be flying with us, which meant I was responsible for the whole team arriving in South Africa safely.

Then I got a text to say that one of the guys was going to be so delayed due to trains but should be at the airport just after 8pm (last check in was 8.15pm). It was going to be a close shave.

We went through security pretty easily except a few bag checks and body frisking. Walking through the departures lounge, we grabbed some food and toiletries before heading to the gate. Not hearing from the guy made me panic a little (but no news is not bad news). Once we got to the gate, the staff were trying to rush us on but we got stopped as we needed to pay for the extra luggage, which took forever.

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‘I’m on my seat, how did I get here before you guys,’ my phone showed. Luckily, the volunteer arrived at the airport on time, ran through secret passages to jump on the plane before us.

Then our 11 and a half flight started. The journey went super quick with chatting to others, reading, eating and sleeping. I didn’t even watch a whole film on the flight. I only managed to get about 2 hours sleep in total though.

When we landed in Johannesburg, we strolled off the plan, stretching our legs and started walking to the next gate before discovering that we had to collect our luggage and take it to a drop-off point. This was the first time ever, I’ve had to do this as it is normally automatically transfered.

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After picking up a bit of wi-fi, we hopped on to the plane for our last short leg to Durban. On the plane, we played trivia pursuit and the airline gave us some food. One and a half hours later, we had landed in Durban, our home for the next 10 weeks. Pulling a trolley, we picked up our luggage before walking through the doors to be greeted by the other flight team and our in country manager.

We were told where we were staying in our teams and were transported there. The inner-city team (my team) were staying in a hostel in the centreish of Durban. Louie, our driver, was welcoming and chatty while travelling to the centre. He would be our taxi for the next week to orientation.

When we got to the hostel, we met two of the South African volunteers and started building relationships by playing games and talking together.

Prayer:
Thank God for a safe flight and a lovely team.

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