Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Day 7 Hello Snow Emergency

We arrived at the Johannesburg airport two hours before our flight and found total chaos at Lufthansa ticketing. The computers were down and ticketing agents were writing baggage tags, boarding passes, and passport info by hand for the hundreds of passengers waiting to board the Boeing 380 jumbo jet for Frankfort, Germany. It was a long, long process.

Fawn attracted some attention because of the “crazy gourd guy” she’d purchased in Boksburg—a wonderfully whimsical musical instrument made of gourds and wood.
Flying overnight, then flying back into the day sure messes with your internal clock. I may be wrong, but I seem to remember three breakfasts along the way. First it was night (J-Burg), then it was morning (Frankfort), then it was night and day again as we traveled west shedding hours to reach a time zone eight hours earlier than the one we had experienced in Mozambique. Fawn took some really nice photos of the sunrise over Greenland.

In the Frankfort airport we met one of the cabin stewards on our flight who told us that we were headed for bad weather in Chicago. He hoped our flight would get in before they closed the airport. “The city’s gonna declare a snow emergency at 5 o’clock,” he told us. He said their flight crew was warned that O’hare might shut down for three days. Connecting flights would be delayed or canceled, he told us. “Get on the first bus for Madison and get as far away from O’Hare as you can.”

Sure enough, when we arrived at O'Hare, once AGAIN Fawn's checked bag was missing. Not fair! The airline lost her bag on the way TO Mozambique and again on the return. She was told that it was still in Frankfort, Germany and that because O'Hare was closed, it could be a few days before she'd get it.

In the end, both of us were grateful just to get out of the airport. Hundreds of flights were cancelled or delayed. Our flight to Madison was the last one before the airport closed. This morning I awoke to more snow that I've seen in years.

This was an amazing trip and Fawn was a wonderful traveling partner. I'm new to blogging and could not figure out how to caption photos until just now. I want to mention that many- if not most- of the photos I've used in these Mozambique posts were taken by Fawn.

Earlier in the week, I'd mentioned that our Mozambican friends were going to prepare dinner for us. That night was the highlight of the trip. So my next and final post will be an epilogue to tell you about it. It was a magical evening and epitomizes how warm and welcoming the people of Mozambique are and how proud-rightfully so-they are of their beautiful nation.

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