Saturday, June 19, 2010

Snakes on a Plane

As in, there weren't any snakes on a plane on our trip. What a relief. The flights seemed shorter than the first time around and we finally made it back to the USA. A trip that was truly once in a lifetime is now over and real life begins again. South Africa was a great experience for us all but I think it's a common theme amongst the group that it's great to be back stateside.

Here's some final closing notes:

Dubai airports are awesome. Not only do they have the cheapest Duty Free shopping of our three stops, but they also have a panera bread style pastry eatery that serves whiskey and beer in the morning. You just don't get that in the states.

Security to get into the US is excessive compared to what we had to do to get into South Africa. I was most worried about the final flight because it was from Dubai (in the middle east where the "evil do'ers live) to New York City. If there was going to be a flight with trouble, this would probably be it. We had our carry ons searched and got frisked before we got on the plane. This is great because our carry ons had already been scanned like twice. It made me feel safe to think that this type of thing was in place. Mike Jones had a large gift in a bag covered in bubble wrap and wasn't questioned about it but I suppose he wasn't what they were looking for. At the end of the flight, we were also asked to take everything off our laps and keep our hands visable until the plane was on the ground. No box cutter access on this plane!

We also had to fill out forms for our re-entry into the country declaring how much our bring backs were worth. I put mine at about $175 but I'm sure I was a low number. Touching American soil was great, I missed all the comforts of home.

It should be mentioned that Mnfo (spelling) our driver dropped us at the airport before we began our long journey home. He is expecting a child in about a month with his wonderful wife who we never met. We wish him the best luck and gave him a "team signed" soccer ball, a gift for his wife, and healthy sum of rand to show our gratitude for helping us out above and beyond the call of duty time and time again. This goes nicely with the 15 t shirts, 5 hats, and 17 pins Curt gave him during the week. Needless to say people throughout the country of South Africa will see the WNEC brand name somewhere.

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