By Suzanne Cross
We are finally off to South Africa to begin filming.
Today has seemed as if it would never arrive, and yet it is way too soon for us to depart. We have learned enough over the past couple of months to know we’re probably not ready, but time has a way of catching up, so we head to the SFO airport.
Of course, we look around to be sure we have all our bags, the house is buttoned down, and we have friends to check in and pick up our mail. We arrive at the International terminal and pull out our pre-printed boarding passes and passports; but where is my passport?? I can’t find it! Impossible! Panic sets in while I look everywhere – my pockets, my bags. Must be a bad dream, but then I realize I must have left it in our photocopy machine after deciding at the last minute to make copies to put inside my bags.
I quickly commandeer a cab to hustle back home, grab the wayward passport from the copier, and hope the nasty Bay area traffic does not keep me from making my flight. Turns out the cab driver is a former race car driver, and the dad to a student at Argonne Elementary School where I volunteer on Wednesdays. Great luck for me and a safe driver to boot.
John and I get to the gate with some time to spare. After many hours flying, we finally arrive at the Johannesburg, South Africa airport and meet up with Alexis. I rent two mobile phones and a 3G modem for my small laptop (rural South Africa was a challenge for our internet access, since it often took more than 30 minutes to get on-line only to reach an error screen).
The Johannesburg Airport was ablaze in football/soccer, with the World Cup due to arrive in a few weeks and all of South Africa is excitedly gearing up to showcase their country. Off we fly on to Richards Bay, and then drive almost 2 hours north to our lodging for the next 16 days.