The University of Michigan Women's Glee Club is traveling to South Africa to participate in the 2012 Ihlombe! Festival, where we will be joining hundreds of other choral enthusiasts to sing, explore Africa, and share our cultures.
Saturday, July 7, 2012
It was honestly looking like we weren't going to make it to South Africa this morning. We got to the airport four hours before our flight, we were told by South African Airlines that we had guaranteed ourselves only 8 seats and 7 of us were to be left on standby. As a group, there was a lot of stress-tears, discussion of suing, and of course many an hour of back pain and hunger. In the end, we had to rush to the gate an hope for the best. When we arrived at the gate, the situation was looking grim. However, immediately before the flight, an attendant came up to us and said " well, who is going?.. All of you!" I don't think I've seen us celebrate so hard before this, albeit a short fiesta. Cheers, happy tears and hugs abounded, we rushed to board the plane. None of us near each other. So here we are! On the last stretches of our 16 hour plane ride. I don't know if any of you have ever traveled over the Ocean, but it is absolutely one of the most wonderful assaults on the senses one can ever have- especially if you're lucky enough to get someone nice sitting next to you. The plane is cramped, but more spacious than your typical national planes. There are three isles: a center isle with four seats across a two sandwiching rows of pairs. The plane holds over two-hundred people of different identity, speaking different languages and riding the same flight for varied reasons. Ive been fortunate to end up next to a wonderful woman from Joberg (born and raised) who goes by her childhood nickname Dodo. We've been chatting on and off the entire ride. She even taught me how to say some fun phrases that South Africans use. For example "Sawubona" which is a way to say hello. In just a couple hours I'll be saying Sawubona to Africa and am so looking forward to it. I'm even looking forward to adjusting to the six hour time change. All in all, all is well- with the exception of our runaway luggage. Maura: We have arrived in Africa and are comfortably situated in our gorgeous villa in pretoria!! Girls are running to each others rooms with exclamations of joy and wonder at this European style accommodation. Our native " Joberg" tour guide Dan has already shown us the city of Pretoria through a highway of beautiful night lights as he answers a flurry of questions. I can safely say that all glee girls are awestruck. We enjoyed an amazing dinner of "spuds" at a cute restaurant upon arrival and with glasses of wine in hand we toasted to a good trip and finally being here together.
- ▼ 2012 (8)