Week 05 – Eliza’s Wedding

#31 The Kingdom of Swaziland

31 January 2016 // Piggs Peak, Swaziland

Made it! An unpredictable journey over from Joburg and taking chances on unnamed dirt roads led to this rewarding view.

Swaziland is one of the last remaining true kingdoms in the modern day and I can understand why… I feel like the number one activity to do here is to stand on a tall rock, stretch out your arm and shout the word “behold!” That and hiking.

This country had me impressed from the get-go with its mountains. If this is how green it looks in a severe drought, I can only imagine it’s normal state. Cheers to country number thirty-nine.

#32 Soccer Side

01 February 2016 // Johannesburg, South Africa

Working on soaking up all the time I have remaining in South Africa, especially once all the kids get back from their schools.

I love just wandering around the center’s premises in the day, talking to whichever kids happen to be around. Or the staff members, too. They’re fun to talk to.

I know I’ll miss it. I know I’ll long to be back. For now, though, there’s a lot to take in.

#33 Nando’s Team Meeting

02 February 2016 // Johannesburg, South Africa

Had a blast last night going out to dinner with my small team. Yay for Nando’s.

Hard to believe that I’ve reached my last full day in the city. I don’t fly out till late, so at least there’s still half of tomorrow, but wow, it’s never easy to leave this place.

It’ll be a bummer to leave Jozi. I’m extremely excited to be back with Deanna, but I’ll be missing everyone here too. At least this trip has assured me of one thing- my connection to Joburg, it doesn’t end here.

#34 Always a Tough Goodbye

03 February 2016 // Johannesburg, South Africa

The boys wanted me to show off muscle… Instead I went with farmer’s tan.

This place will always be one of the hardest places to leave.

Already missing the boys and girls and staff. It was so tough having to answer “I don’t know” to everyone who asked when I’m coming. “But I’ll be thinking hard about it.” Every day that goes by is another day closer.

#35 Air-a-thon

03 February 2016 // Amsterdam, Netherlands

My flight from Joburg was cancelled. The good news was that they could get me a new route to Portland arriving Friday night. The bad news? It’s a four legged journey that gets me there at midnight while I fly to Salt Lake the next day at 6 am.

Despite that here’s some good stuff making this whole ordeal much more bearable.

Perdidos El Norte – fun movie I found on my plane about Spanish immigrants in Germany. Surprisingly sweet story. I always try and use those airplane movies to try and find at least one good foreign film.

The Amsterdam airport – This is probably my favorite airport abroad, and my second favorite right next to PDX for totally different reasons.

Fun company along the way – I’ve befriended a Polish traveler trying to make her way back to London via my same route, and a very friendly cleaning lady from Suriname. One of the fun parts of airports

#36 Days on Planes

04 February 2016 // Portland, Oregon

Alright, here’s a synopsis of my past IDK how many hours.

Johannesburg to Amsterdam — originally meant to be London but that flight got cancelled.

Amsterdam to London — You’d think this would be unnecessary since there’s so many ways to get to the U.S. from Amsterdam but whatever. I got Dutch frites for lunch.

London to New York — In NY, I only had exactly one hour to clear customs, recheck my bag, print a new boarding pass, switch terminals, go through security again and then find my gate.

New York to Portland — Just kidding, this flight got delayed two hours.

And now… I’ll be spending my night in the Portland airport. Gotta get up at 4am. I arrive at 130, so I might as well. Because when I wake up

Portland to Salt Lake — and back the next day.

#37 Eliza’s Wedding

05 February 2016 // Salt Lake City, Utah

Official- Eliza and Geoff are now married.

Not gonna lie, this was one of the most tiring weekends ever, but I am so glad we found enough gas in the tank to see these two tie the knot.

Had a really fun time at the wedding and hanging out in Salt Lake. Congrats, Geoff and Eliza!