Ilivetolearn's Blog

July 24, 2012

we made it!

Filed under: on the road — ilivetolearn @ 5:06 am

Here we are in the Johannesburg airport. That’s our monstrous pile of luggage peeking out on the right. The three of us who are US-based flew 14.5 hours direct from JFK, and Evan flew from Ouagadougou to Nairobi (where he only had 1.5 hours) and then to Jo-burg. Elliot drove to Jo-burg from Maputo the day before as our flights landed early in the morning. The main emotion of our faces (other than happiness at being together) is RELIEF that it all worked out. We are only missing Phoebe but we decided to Photoshop her into some future family groupings.

After interminable wanderings through corridors, up and down elevators, and past the machines where we had to pay for parking, we found Elliot’s car

and stuffed ourselves into it. All well and good until we got to the exit with our validated parking stub. Seemed like the first world…but oops! The power was out so the machine reading the card was dead and the horrible spikes that promise to do “severe tire damage” would not retract. I loved this sign:

The robot is just a traffic light. Dead, of course. A few cars came by and waited with us, then someone went and got a parking lot attendant, then there was more waiting while they assured us the generator would kick in soon, then the lot employee finally found that he could lift one of the gates manually, which fortunately made the spikes go down.








On to our next adventure: Kruger Park. We stayed in the Mjejane Lodge just outside one of the main gates, on the Crocodile River. Our rooms looked out on the river; on the opposite bank is the Park. And as the guides pointed out, there are no gates or fences enclosing the Park in most places, so the animals roam free. We took two game drives and saw hundreds of fabulous animals, but the amazing thing was that right from the lodge we saw almost as many! Here is our breakfast table (all seats facing view, of course):

See that bush right in the middle? Later in the day an elephant wandered by and chomped on it, about 6 feet from us:

There was a “haha,” a 6-foot drop with a retaining wall and a little barbed wire, between us and him. We also watched dozens of impalas come down to drink, saw a dramatic hippo confrontation, checked out a few crocs lounging in the sun, watched an enormous egret (or maybe it was a stork) hunt, observed a meerkat colony, and wondered why a lone kudu was lying around without its herd.

As we left (another obligatory tacky group shot)

we bid goodbye to the resident mom-and-baby warthog:

We will come back to Kruger later in the trip, and probably stay in an entirely different area. Next stop: Maputo, then to Honey Pot, near Xai Xai (pronounced Shy Shy) for our Habitat for Humanity build. Thanks to those who have donated! Here’s the link again:


  1. Awesome

    Comment by John Karrel — July 24, 2012 @ 7:59 am | Reply

  2. Sounds and looks amazing!! I love it that you are keeping up the blog so we can follow along. You have such an amazing and caring family. Please pass along my best wishes to all. Is that link a general one, or will it go right to the family you’re building for?

    Comment by Sarah — July 24, 2012 @ 12:40 pm | Reply

    • The link is general, unfortunately. But we have been asking people to forward a copy of their email receipt to Silvia Gomes, who will make sure it gets credited to this particular family:

      Habitat is doing unbelievable work in Mozambique. More to come!

      Comment by ilivetolearn — August 6, 2012 @ 2:54 am | Reply

  3. Have a great time and bring me back a rock.

    Comment by Gene — July 24, 2012 @ 10:36 pm | Reply

  4. Thanks, Nancy. Good to hear and to know. We have been thinking of you while we focused on Tod and Kate’s and Curt and Rachel’s visit to the Knoll. Love. Doane and Karen

    Comment by Doane Perry — July 25, 2012 @ 4:31 pm | Reply

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: