I showed up at their house on base a little after 10:30...and quickly figured out that I would be riding in the back. Let me explain, we were taking the "ambulance"...or the clinic truck that has red crosses on the sides. It has a covered bed with windows...this was where I climbed in laughing to myself and made the decision that after this what else could happen? I was just going to laugh! Chris (another missionary) must have seen me from church as we headed out...and sent a text that said..."Oh bless you! It's going to be a long trip." All I said was...I'm laughing already and I'll see you Tuesday! One positive of this...I was a little worried about the long ride and the inability to communicate...not a problem when you are in the back of the truck.
After lunch we headed to the flat...unpacked a little...and sat down. Within a few minutes we were all asleep in the living room. Later that night we went out to get a pizza. Nelspruit has pretty much anything we have in America. I went in nicer grocery stores there than at home! Honestly parts of it are more like a big city in America...where you can get ANYTHING you need! So pizza for dinner...then a movie. I read the English subtitles! It was about David Wilkerson a priest who worked with street gangs in NY. If you have never heard of him...check it out! I didn't know anything about it but really enjoyed it.
Monday we had to get up early and drop off the car to get the air conditioner fixed. We were driven over to the mall. The Nelspruit mall is something I have been hearing about since I got here. Now I know why. It is like a mall in a big city! It was amazing to be there and get to see all the home decor and fashions. Everything is so much different in Moz...just 124 miles away.
Another discovery...our mail is delivered to the mall. That was a little funny to me. For all those wondering, I was not able to get anything you have sent...I know several of you have sent things. I do know there is a mail strike and also there was miscommunication while I was there about what box is actually mine. Ros and Stever (directors) are going back this week...so hopefully when they return all will be sorted out and I will get all the things you have sent! Look for an update on the mail situation soon!
After a day of shopping we got the car back and headed for the flat. For dinner pizza was on the menu again. Iarrah REALLY likes pizza and apparently never gets it in Moz...so that is her SA food of choice! Night time entertainment was another movie in Portuguese that I had to read. (Deanna & Mom...the two people who have always made fun of me for not wanting to read subtitles...who knew I would be so relieved that a movie had subtitles?!)
Today we had breakfast at an American place called Mug & Bean...it's a chain from San Francisco. Then we ran into the HUGE pharmacy where we buy some medication that you cannot get in Moz and then headed home.
As for the return border situation...not nearly as great as the first. I quickly discovered that my visa was only a single entry. So I had to pay for another visa...for now I'm good for another 30 days...and in the mean time I have to figure out what to do next. I was not planning on paying every 30 days for another visa...but haven't figured out my other options yet.
Ok...well I think that completes the adventure of South Africa Trip #1. There were many funny conversations along the way with Iarrah speaking Portuguese to me and Marcia attempting to clean up the mess...but nothing major! One more funny observation...children don't have to wear shoes in SA. It is perfectly ok for them to run around the mall or grocery store bearfooted. Made me laugh a little because it's not like the family's can't afford shoes...that I understand. It must just be cultural. Anyway, all went well, I'm not sure how relaxing...but I'm back safe. I have tomorrow off and am hopeful to get to go to the Bocaria (city garbage dump) in the morning. Then Thursday-Tuesday I'm on in the Baby House...should be interesting!