Days 1 and 2, Johannesburg

Originally posted on 1/3/18


As promised, there was WiFi at our first location, so I'm here with my first travel blog. Unfortunately, the WiFi isn't strong enough for me to upload the photos I've taken, so when I get the chance later, I'll go back and add them in.

Our flight from Minneapolis to Washington DC was delayed for a few hours, so arriving early morning at the airport meant we had a few hours to get to know each other. I decided to purchase a neck pillow, and so far it's been a worthy investment.

The flight from DC to Johannesburg was actually a two part journey with a stop in Accra, Ghana. We didn't (or rather, we were not allowed to) get off of the plane in Ghana due to flight regulations. The two parts of the flight in total were a little over 18 hours in length.

Accra, Ghana was 74 degrees Fahrenheit, and the view from the plane was beautiful. It was hazy and sunny outside, and the green grass and terra-cotta colored earth were familiar looking, yet unfamiliar at the same time. We landed at approximately 2am, Central time, but 8am Ghana time. The jet lag made us a little groggy, but most everyone was in good spirits, if a little sore.

I tried mango juice for the first time on the airplane. It came in a juice box with a straw, much like orange or apple juice might.

I remember having been told once that every place has a smell. I never really understood what that meant until I stepped outside of the airport in Johannesburg. It's not a particular smell, like the way Birthday cake smells, but more like the difference between the way your home and your friend's home smell. I get the impression that I won't even notice it after a few days.

Johannesburg, Capetown, and Windhoek, the three cities we'll be in while we are here, are all in the same time zone, 8 hours ahead of US central time. The weather in Johannesburg is warm and beautiful, a far cry from sub-zero MN. It is warm and sunny, with cooler breezes at night. The sun didn't set until 7pm!

After landing in Johannesburg, we were picked up and taken to our first accommodation location, a guesthouse. It's a pretty little place with a inner courtyard. Dinner at the guesthouse was fish cakes, mixed vegetables, potatoes, fresh fruit, and what I think was guava juice.

We each have our own little room to ourselves here, with a sink, a bed, a small nightstand table, and a chair. I was actually a little disappointed not to be sharing a room. After growing up with constant roommates in the form of siblings and college classmates, I guess I find it weird to sleep in a room totally by myself.

So far, I suppose I'm feeling a little overwhelmed, which I'm going to attribute to jet-lag and being in a brand new country. Our orientation for this course and scheduled lessons and adventures begin on January 4th, Day 3, so I'm looking forward to seeing what the next days will bring.