Greetings from Durban, South Africa!!! I hope this first blog finds you all doing well. My roommates Alex, Katie and I have arrived safely in South Africa and have had a great first week. The flight was not as bad as I had originally thought, not half as bad as the horrible goodbyes I had to endure beforehand. We left on Sunday (1/11) from JFK in New York. Once I was reprimanded by the clerk about how OVERWEIGHT all my suitcases were and they marked them with these horribly embarassing "HEAVY" tags (which have an elephant picture on them) we were well on our way. We flew for about 7 hours to Dakar, Senegal. Once there, we stayed on the plane for over 2 hours while they "sprayed the plane" (still no clue what that means??). We were able to stretch and wait during this time. Once we took off from Dakar, we flew to Johannesburg which was a solid 8 hour trip. The length of the trip was made much more bearable because South African Airways has loads of movies to choose from, they consistently feed you and we had comfy seats! Once in Jo-Burg, as it's called here, we changed planes and took a quick hour long flight to Durban. We were greeted warmly by our two Augustinian neighbors...Fr. Frank Doyle & Fr. Benji Gamos.
We were extremely wiped out and pretty quiet the whole way home. We live about 30 minutes outside of Durban in an area called Botha's Hill. Our "grounds" are very nice. The priests (now +1 with the arrival of Fr. Jack McAtee) live in a beautiful house about 20 yards from ours. Our house is very nice and far from "roughing it." Katie and I are sharing a bedroom while Alex has her own. Our kitchen is pretty tiny, but we have a nice size living/dining room. We certainly have the necessities: fridge, drinkable water, advanced plumbing, a nice shower, and of course, A COMPUTER!!! Can't complain at all.
Below are some pictures of 1) Our plane...2) Me and my luggage...3) Our Bedroom...4) Welcome to Durban sign in airport