Next to the last…

3/25/11  Friday

2:06pm Washington, DC
1:06pm Alabama

He made me smile and is now my official “funniest sighting of the day”.   “He” is the guy working in China Wok at the Dulles Airport, here in DC.  He, an older Asian gentleman, was simply standing behind the counter.  He had his hat turned sideways (like a gangster) and it simply made me grin.  Context, eh?

Ah, the end of the trip.  Tim and I are a BIT road (plane)-weary but hanging in there.  Because of the day-light-savings-time change that happened while we were gone, our connecting flight just didn’t happen.  Therefore, we are in Washington, DC for four more hours.  After 23 hours of flying (!) it has created a potion for delirium.

On Wednesday (before we left Cape Town) Charlotte and I spent the morning together.  She took me to a neat outdoor-mall type of place with lots of little stores.  WE had fun just meandering through all the shops. (That is hard to do when the guys are around as they are a bit too impatient with us!)  I bought my last two souvenirs at a neat place called “RAIN” right after we ate a nice brunch.  I really enjoyed being around Charlotte and catching up over these last six weeks.  Though we have seen a LOT of each other, we haven’t had much opportunity to talk, so this set-aside morning was good for us.  We also went by Alyssa’s school for an hour or so and tagged items for their upcoming White Elephant (AKA: Yard Sale).

I was able to catch a short nap before we jaunted up to the church where they were finishing up a 2-day conference.  Tim and Peter managed to attend day two and both of us wanted to say our farewells to the LaTreau team since we had gotten a bit attached to them.  They surprised us by singing two songs to/over us in Afrikaans.  Then we were able to encourage and pray with them.  It was a very joyful and tearful time. I do so wish I could get them to come to Pike Road!

That night we (Peter, Charlotte, Tim and I) went out to eat with the three men that were leading the conference and Dionne, from the church staff.  It was a good “last night”.  When we got home, we hugged each of kids good bye and told them how great each of them are.  Peter and Charlotte are doing a great job rearing them.  All  four of them are kind, thoughtful and respectful (except when they are playing Bananagrams!)

Thursday morning, the day we left, Peter couldn’t stand it but to plan ‘just ONE MORE THING’ before we went to the airport.   Tim managed to pack all 200lbs of our stuff in our four pieces of luggage, and then we loaded it in the car and headed BACK to the church so we could leave it in a safe place.  (We then borrowed the church truck for our final touristy jaunt.)

We drove to a museum for District Six.  District Six was portion of town (a large neighborhood) that had stores, schools, thriving businesses, a YMCA and many homes…it was typical of every and any neighborhood in Cape Town with one major exception: it was integrated.  Whites, Blacks, and Coloreds ALL lived here by choice.

However, the government (Apartheid motivated) wanted segregation all across South Africa.  SO, in February of 1966, they began bulldozing the place after giving many families only a few days of notice.

The museum was a place of remembrance for this horrific governmental act.  Discrimination, prejudice and racism are alive and well all over the planet in one-way or another; the “South” does NOT have a monopoly on that!

We then jaunted over to Charlie’s Bakery for lunch: Meat Pies and Quiche…and, since it was a bakery, we just HAD to have some desserts: pig’s ears, red velvet cake, hummingbird cake and chocolate cake was our fare.  Whoa it was good!

WE got to the airport in plenty of time to sit and visit with Peter and Charlotte before loading on the plane for our grueling 23-hour journey.  We were appreciative that the little 2-year-old girl that screamed during ALL of her waking hours was sitting next to us (across the aisle) rather than behind us.   Her parents threatened numerous times to “swat” her and “take her to the bathroom”, but the little-one  ruled the day/night/meal-time, etc and managed to make the long journey just a tad-bit more miserable for everyone on board!  Whew.

So here we sit in Washington, DC, catching up on text messages and voice mails.  In our hasty-yet-failed-attempt to make our connecting flight, Tim inadvertently left his belt at the security checkpoint.  He does NOT like walking around without his belt and says that he WILL purchase a new one tomorrow!

I will write one more blog after this entitled: South Africa: These are a few of my favorite things.  It will really just go over all the quirky things that stood out to me during our journey

I am glad that I have written this “journal/blog” even though t is NOT in my nature to do this with as much commitment as I have had.  AND, I am glad that I had a few of my close friends and relatives join me on this unique journey…and do you I say: Thank you!

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