Sunday, May 04, 2008


On Monday last week, my dad, Dwight and I left Curitiba for South Africa while Mom and Lucas headed back to Canada. Our time in Brazil was very positive, but by the 3rd week we were ready to get back home again to the work that awaited us. We said our farewells to all including Rick and Heather who will remain there for a few more months. This is a very new environment and culture for them to adjust to, but they are committed to their task of language learning, and we know the Brazilians will take them into their hearts and homes in a big way.

We landed back in South Africa at O.R. Tambo airport, Joburg on Tuesday morning after a fairly uneventful trip. Prebooking seats on SAA (South African Airlines) turned out to be impossible to do, so the 3 of us had rather strange seating arrangements on both flights. The food was the usual curious assortment of prepackaged items, plastic cutlery and hard dinner rolls. And just about the time we decided the best part of the meal would be the coffee at the end, we hit bumpy weather and were advised that "Coffee and tea service will be suspended due to turbulence." We figured that once we were through the turbulence the suspension would be cut short and we'd get the better part of our meal. We waited and we waited. The crew picked up our empty trays but we held on to our tiny coffee cups, assured that our few sips of tea and coffee would eventually be served since by that time we were back to fairly smooth sailing again. When the lights went out and the movie started, our cups were still shiny and clean and our sugar packages unopened. *sigh* Apparently, coffee and tea had been cancelled altogether.

We drove to Whiteriver from Johannesburg the day we landed. We first stopped to check in with Hebron on leadership books that were being printed. They were ready, so we loaded them up and headed out taking turns driving since we all desperately needed sleep after the night-long flight. As it turned out, this week was "rife" with stat holidays and the one, after the day of our arrival, was the only one we had for doing business. So we rushed around on Wednesday getting urgent supplies, checking mail, etc., got packed and ready to leave on Thursday and headed out to Mozambique on Friday. Since we were in the Cessna we were limited with weight and had to leave some stuff behind for our next trip with the pick-up in June. We flew home with Dwight as pilot, my dad as co-pilot and me in the back seat. As luck would have it, for the last leg of the trip we hit turbulence. The clouds looked white, soft and fluffy enough, but once inside them we felt tossed about like popcorn in a popping machine! As I scrambled to buckle myself securely to my seat again, Dwight shouted from the front: "We're sorry to announce that coffee and tea service will be suspended due to turbulence!" That was least on this flight we had our own yummy snacks and drinks (even if just cold water and pop) to enjoy whenever we wanted. Move over SAA!

Right now we have the weekend to unpack and catch our breath before Monday arrives. It's very nice having my dad here. He had to spend his first night in a tent but has now moved into his own bedroom (the mission's one and only guest bedroom at this an otherwise unfinished guest cottage). He's already finding work he wants to tackle.
Our house has made good progress...except for the one doorway the bricklayers mistakenly bricked up. So there will be a bit of undoing of work there. The next step is the cement beam that will now be placed along the tops of all the walls so we can start putting trusses up for the roof.

One of my tasks for today is to sit down, pen, calendar and paper in hand, so I can get my week's work organized. But first, since I'm on terra firma and any turbulent weather is far above me...I'm getting myself that cup of coffee! TTYL


Heather & Rick said...

wow.. house looks great.. im keeping my fingers crossed that it will continue to progress! (that way i can skip the tent stage) unless that is a mandantory requirement... even earl had to do it!!)

Luke said...

terra firma??
Oh! I guess you meant terra firme! lol

me again -----> 8-)

Good to hear how your trip was! I guess all of us had our *little* experiences during the flights back home! Sorry for the turbulence. No coffee would drive me crazy! :p

anyway... take care.

The Nelson's Dog Patch said...

Hope you enjoyed your long awaited cup of coffee Lynn :)

Russoft said...

SAA is the stupidest airline out there, probably.

Glad to hear your back safely