Barbara's Random Thoughts

Friday, May 12, 2006

Blogging by request, part 2

Elise asked; I'm answering. It's interactive blogging!

1. What is the travel time to South Africa (total)? Are you able to sleep on the plane? Are you going to bring any books to pass the time on the flight-- which ones?

Travel time broken down by flight:

SF to London: 10 hours, 23 minutes
London to Jo'burg: 10 hours, 50 minutes
Total flight time: 21 hours, 13 minutes
(But outbound I have an extended layover in London--2 days--during which I may hop on a short flight to Glasgow.)

Coming home:
Jo'burg to London: 11 hours, 15 minutes
London to SF: 10 hours, 53 minutes
Total flight time: 22 hours, 8 minutes

Interestingly enough, though the actual flight time coming back is longer by an hour, it takes two calendar days to get there and only one to get home. Crossing time zones fascinates me. It's like time travel!

I have a really hard time sleeping on planes. Mainly because my falling-asleep position is either flat on my stomach or curled up on my side, and these are hard to accomplish in a plane seat. I have a feeling that this trip will be an exercise in learning to sleep on planes, especially on the way home!

Of course I will bring books to pass the time! One I'm definitely taking is: The Celtic Way Of Evangelism by George G. Hunter, because NC asked we read it before the trip and I haven't yet! And of course, the Lonely Planet guide to South Africa. I have not yet settled on the other final book candidates. I do have a pile on my floor that I'm considering, and right now it contains:
-Atonement by Ian McEwan
-Perelandra by C.S. Lewis
-Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

Somehow none of those seem to quite fit the occasion, therefore this list is totally subject to change. I'm determined to take my own books with me, because I'm just uneasy about taking borrowed books (from friends or the library) all the way to South Africa.

2. On this trip, where will you spend most of your time?

From what I understand, my time will be split fairly evenly between three things:
-experiencing culture and history (going to an indigenous church, visiting the Apartheid museum, visiting townships like Soweto...etc.)
-time spent serving in townships surrounding Pretoria
-learning time at the NC site

3. There are many needs in South Africa-- 5 million people are infected with HIV; the effects of apartheid. Is there a need that is close to your heart, in particular?
The HIV stats break my heart. That said, finding out more about the history of apartheid and its effects and current ongoing struggles is what fascinates me. I'm not sure where my heart will be drawn just yet, and that's something I want to get out of this trip.

4. i heard there are like 11 official languages recognized there. Do you know how to say "hello" in all 11? =)
No. =) Just for you, I will attempt to learn some of those hellos while I am there. Maybe when I come home, I will be able to say "hello" in Xhosa, complete with clicks. But don't count on it.

5. You've been on many missions trips before, (have you gone to Africa?) what do you think will be most different about this trip compared to the others?
I've never been on a mission trip to Africa before. I have been to Egypt, which is technically Africa, but was only there for one day (to climb Mt. Sinai!). I think what will be most different about this trip is being somewhere that the needs are so overwhelming. I'm anticipating that this will be a life-changing time, in large part because this trip will be so different for me. I'm not sure yet what those life changes will be.

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| posted by Barbara | 10:19 PM