Arrival in Africa 1/52

Thursday, December 22, 2016
Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa
On Thursday, 22 December, 2016 Stella Helterbrand dropped us off at the Cincinnati airport as we embarked on this new adventure. I felt ridiculous with the amount of luggage that we had (two checked bags each, one carry on each, one personal item (briefcase sized) each, and an extra "carry on" for my bipap. Who needs this much stuff?! But, at the same time, it seems like so little to have for the next year.

The check-in agent picked up my first case and said (before putting it down) that he thought it would be overweight ... it was exactly 50lbs. He was impressed. He picked up the next bag, and once again proclaimed it would be overweight... it was exactly 50lbs. He was once again
impressed. This happened with the third bag as well. We were not quite so accurate with the fourth... it was 51lbs... he was still impressed and didn't charge us any overweight charges.

Our flight was uneventful, if not a bit turbulent at times.

We arrived in Johannesburg on Friday, 23, December, 2016 at 4:30pm (local time); where we were met at the airport by Jason Webster and Nick and Megan Lamoureux (United Youth Corps volunteers that arrived shortly before us).

Jason drove us to his lovely home in Pretoria where we had dinner with his sweet family (wife: Monique; children: Taliah, Daniel, Kayla, and Ethan). The food was delicious, and it was nice to sit outside in the fresh air of their garden and get to know the family a bit better.

Later, Jason drove us to our guest house (similar to a bed and breakfast only with little cottage style rooms). We are staying at the beautiful Avalon Guest House. The owners are friendly and kind, and the rooms were stunning; all of the wooden furniture was built by our host: beautiful ornate bed frames, bookshelves with inlaid stained glass covered whole walls, and each room had a beautiful chess board built into a small table.

We're excited to get to camp and meet all the kids.
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What an adventure, I'm so glad you and Lewis are up for the challenge. Hope things will work out smoothly with your new home. Love from us.

Marjorie Ashley

Can you go back in time to when your mothers had you two and make two sets of identical twins? Then one set could be there and the other here...just wishful thinking. Miss you.

Valgene Maurer

Thanks so much for sharing your exciting and important travels. Looking forward to knowing more about their beautiful land and our people there.

Katie Shabi

Hi Lena! Just started reading the blog today. Ha ha, I'm impressed too about getting exactly 50lbs on each bag. Did you weigh ahead or are you just really good at guessing? :)


I totally weighed them... that would be a good talent though.

Darlene Yblood

Just started reading your blog. Can't wait to keep reading. What an adventure!