Saturday – August 21, 2010 –
I have spent many years dreaming of visiting Africa. Like many Americans, my first desires were to go on a safari and see the big five wild animals and the natural wonders such as Victoria Falls. When I was a kid I had read Ernest Hemingway’s “Snows of Kilimanjaro” and wished to visit Tanzania and see it. I hoped to learn more about Africa’s other wonders, so this was a time to make dreams come true.
Jeff and I had spent several months planning this trip. Just like our first trip to Argentina and Chile, we had to plan a lot of logistical details because we would not be renting cars and would need to rely on others for our transportation. Also, we are visiting five countries so we have a number of flight connections!
Mom and Dad dropped Jeff and me off at the Atlanta airport around 16:00 p.m. after a good meal at Carrabba’s Italian Grill in Smyrna, Georgia. Jeff and I checked in with Delta at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport to receive our tickets and checked our bags. Then we went to Terminal E where we bought some candy for the Masai kids in Tanzania.
After boarding the flight, Jeff was lucky enough to board first as a Medallion member and sit in front of me in bulkhead seats with extra leg space. This journey from Atlanta to Johannesburg was Delta’s longest flight and one of the 10 longest flights in the world. Our flight left at 19:25 p.m., and during the 15.5-hour flight, we received supper and breakfast. I watched an episode of AMC’s new show Rubicon, an episode of Mad Men, the South African rugby movie Invictus, a German movie called the Die Weis Band and several documentaries during the flight. I also slept about six hours, which is pretty good for me on a flight.