South Africa-the end

So, Monday morning we came back to the house, took a few minutes to shower and get ready and then we headed out for one last day of sightseeing.

It was marvelous that our flight didn't leave until close to midnight because it gave us the entire day to look around.  we went to District 6 Museum.  You can click over to learn more, but basically this area of town was, once upon a time, a happily settled community of black south Africans.  Then, by the early 80s, the entire community was taken over by white south Africans and bulldozed. 
After leaving we went to beautiful Kirstenbosch Gardens.  I am usually not the garden-type person, but this place was unbelievable.  We ate a delicious lunch there and I tend to think that even though we spent several hours there that we didn't see it all.

We also visited this great overlook point where you could see Cape Town.  It was wonderful and so fitting for our last day there.

Can you see us?  We are all on lions doing Saddle Ridge Ranch!  Except for Dustin who somehow looks like Samson up there about to take down the temple pillars.

After all this, we headed back to the team house to begin (or finish) packing.  It seemed to me a very somber occasion.  Not a lot of talking going on while packing.  Then came the time I was dreading.  We rolled our suitcases out and loaded up the vans.  I didn't cry but leaving was sad.  I was excited to see my family, but not excited to be getting back on those airplanes for 20+ hours.

We went to a super neat little restaurant to eat, called Harbour House.  It sat right on the rocks and you could see the waves crashing on them right outside the window.  Dinner was great, but it wasn't as light as the past few meals.  Our waiter took one last picture of us...
After dinner, it was to the airport.  We told Clynton goodbye curbside.  Everyone checked in without incident and we said good to Danielle and Amy.  We had just a short time to wait before the plane boarded.  The flight was long and I was able to sleep a few hours.  Because of the heightened security, the lines in Amsterdam were long and we didn't have a layover at all.  Even though the flight was fine and I missed South Africa I was very glad to get my feet on American soil.  We had to clear customs in Detroit and that went off without a hitch.

The flight from Detroit to Nashville went so smoothly that we actually touched down in Nashville about 20 minutes early and for the first time EVER, our gate was very close to the front, so we got right off and were at the security gates in just a few steps.  Jenna ran to meet me and Steve had to hold Katie tight because she was so excited to see me.  It was so great to see them again.

Coming home felt a bit weird.  I felt out of place in my own home for a few days and actually felt depressed as well.  this is all a normal part of the re-entry process.  In addition, my ears did not ever unstop when we flew in from Detroit.  Thankfully, Wednesday morning my ears were unstopped.  However, all that drainage had settled in my throat.  I survived at work until about 2:30 on Wednesday.  By Thursday, my throat wasn't as thick but I left about 4pm just to beat the traffic and get home in time to get some rest.  Friday morning I woke up sick as a dog.  My head felt like it was going to explode.  And by the time I got to work, I would have welcomed the explosion because it would have relieved the pressure.

I went straight to the clinic at work as soon as I got there and the nurse diagnosed me with a sinus/upper respiratory infection.  She gave me antibiotics, steroids and a cough/decongestant med.  I didn't make it past noon before heading home.  I took my meds as soon as I got here and then laid down.  Just that extra hour or two of rest did me a world of good.

By Monday I was back to normal and even felt less sad, although not a day passes that I don't see something that reminds me of South Africa.  I would love to say I'm definitely going back soon, but this time next year, I hope to be in China (or home with my new daughter!)

The team is having a get together on the 24th and I cannot wait!  I can't wait to see the team I grew so fond with and who experienced this most amazing journey with me.

So, friends, that's it.  That is my trip to South Africa in a nutshell.  There's so much more to tell.  And if you are interested, I'd love to share.  But for now, this journey is in my past and I am attempting to process everything I saw and experienced while there.

Thanks to all of you who prayed for me while I was gone.  The prayers were definitely felt.  Today finds me focusing on the future...and bringing my girl home!

1 comment:

Stacey said...

I have loved your account of your trip. The pictures are beautiful and so is the story