I made it to Africa!

I made it to Africa.  I spent about as much time in an airplane as anyone would ever want to spend.  My flight got into Johannesburg about an hour late and it took another hour and a half before I was on my way out with my luggage.  Apparently, by the time I got out of customs, the driver that was sent to pick me up had grown tired of waiting for me and had gone back to the hotel.  I waited around for a while and decided that no one was there to get me.  Several cab drivers noticed this sad looking American sitting around with a cart full of luggage and offered to take me where I needed to go.  Since I wasn’t entirely sure where that was or if it was a good idea to take a ride from one of these guys, I figured that it would be better to try to make a phone call.  I got 500 Rand (about 70 dollars or so) from an ATM and bought a phone card.  I tried every number that I had and there was no answer on any of them.  Great…  I went back to the lady who sold me the phone card and asked her to help.  She came back out and tried one of the numbers from the pay phone that I was using and she said that the line was “engaged”.  I listened to the sound and it was the same sound that it made for every number that I had dialed.  She let me use her mobile phone and I was able to contact the shuttle service.  She then took the calling card back from me and gave me my money back.  A few minutes later, the van showed up and I was on my way. 

I managed to get a full night’s sleep and spent most of today in a class with six other pilots.  Four of them were South African one was a Brit and the other from Ghana.  The South Africans seemed to stick together and speak Afrikaans when out of class.  After class was over I went with the pilot from Ghana to a shopping center to buy some airtime for our mobile phones but we couldn’t buy any because the power was out.  I ate dinner with a couple of Venezuelan pilots who were training at the same place.  They mostly talked about how they disliked their president Chavez and were curious about the elections happening in the US.  Once that topic was exhausted, the conversation moved on to various tales of pilots and passengers peeing in bottles and dropping deuces on seats and in pants. 

I guess two things span international borders: a general dislike of politicians…. And poop jokes.

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5 Responses to “I made it to Africa!”

  1. Heather Says:

    I’m glad you made it safe and without too much trouble or worry. It’s also nice to know that mankind will always have poop jokes to bring us together and help us get to know one another.

  2. Mom Says:

    My son in Africa……..that’s hard to believe! I am so proud of you, but I miss you lots! I know that God is directing your path and He has you in His hands.
    Love,
    MOM

  3. Auntie Says:

    How many more hours of instruction do you have left? Any good shopping there? How’s the coffee?

    Take care,

    Auntie

  4. Mike Proctor Says:

    Hi Patrick!

    Stay away from those 4 legged critters I saw munching on some poor unsuspecting pet-of-the-month reject. It seems to me you are handling your being thrown into a completely foreign, not knowing what to expect next lifestyle with the pizazz and class we all knew you possessed. I’m sure I would never have been able to handle it. Be good and stay safe, have fun and always know that you’ve got a family back here that unconditionally loves and thinks the world of you,

    Mike

  5. Mike Proctor Says:

    I thought I did…….

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