Sunday, June 15, 2008

Side Trip

Todd was certain I was going to be arrested for taking photos
at the airport but I had to try. I still find it so hysterical that
at the International Airport you have to walk out to meet your
plane - usually you have to account for your bags before you board as well!

So...a little bit more than the 'artist inside' was wanting out! My acutal insides decided they wanted in on the action - they wanted out too! But the fine surgeons at the Rosebank Hospital in Johannesbur showed them a thing or two.

The guys, headed to the tarmac

In case you are feeling like you missed something, we hopped down to South Africa recently so I could have surgery - repairing a femoral hernia. It was not an awful lot of fun but it went very well - from the med-evac, to the whole family being stuck in a hotel in a suburb of Johannesburg for nearly a week, and now Todd's travel and me trying to take it easy with two small boys literally climbing all over me.
Despite appearances, Finny did MUCH better
on this flight. Instead of "I want to go to Nana's house!!
NO FLY!" he was shouting "See?! See?! I not scared!"

We didn't see much of South Africa beyond a 10 block radius of the hospital/hotel but it was very disorienting: tree-lined cobblestone streets, new BMWs zipping orderly through intersections with functioning traffic lights, great cafes and bookstores (including the 'Seattle Coffee Company' which is both a cafe and a bookstore), ridiculous shopping, and really nice friendly people. Not the Johannesburg you hear about. We walked everywere except for the kids' visit to the zoo which was about 5km down the road - for that we flagged down a local mini-bus (with the help of one of the hotel porters) and piled in.

Owen in Rosebank

The boys were very popular in Jo'burg and many people came to know them over our short stay. Finn for his shy smile and sweet blue eyes peeking through his floppy mop and Owen for unique sense of style?.....we generally walked the same route to and fro every day and he wore the same outfit 4 days in a row- his favorite size 3T shorts and his 'michael owen' england football jersey. (The photos were from day 5 when he was forced to change b/c his clothes were washed but not yet dry) Lots of shouts his way "hey, Owen!" and hugs from cheeky shop keepers. What fun.

Owen at Caffe Vida - a portuguese-based coffe company -

they use belgian chocolate in their mochas and hot chocolate.

One of the funniest parts of the experience was they hysterical laughter from all the nurses ("sisters") and the security guards when I had to 'inventory' my valuables before I was wheeled away to who knows where. I had 75,000 kwacha crammed in my wallet (about $35) and they could not get over how much cash I had to carry around and the ridiculous math we had to do just to go to the grocery store. (Right now there are about 8 Rand to the dollar and about 3,300 Zambian Kwacha.) It beats Zimbabwe where you need 50 million zim dollars to buy a single egg....

Some photos from our trip to the zoo:

(above) We took this photo for Hank...

(below) the zoo has three 'prides' of lions - really fat healthy looking ones

(below) and of course crocs

the mariboo stork - todd says this one is quite handsome compared with the ones he remembers from the rubbish piles around Nairobi...and (below) Flamingos.

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