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Published: August 9th 2015
We have arrived, all went smoothly at Heathrow Airport, we departed from a very busy but efficient Terminal 5. Tim had organised the taxi to get us to Heathrow nice and early so we had a calm wait after we got through security, we even had time for a meal at Weatherspoons! We waited and watched the planes arriving and departing as we waited to be called to board, everyone was calm and relaxed. The flight was long and we were able to watch a few films on the way, the flight departed at 9.20pm so it was a night time flight and we managed a little bit of sleep. At one point during our flight over Africa I looked out of the window to see streetlights in the darkness, the surprise was that there were just ten or twenty lights and a few house lights - obviously it was not a well populated area, it was clear that there were big expanses of land between settlements.
We arrived in Johannesburg at 9.05am (local time), touching down very gently onto the tarmac, the sky was blue and the captain assured us that the forecast was for a beautiful warm day - with high temperature of around 28 degrees C. Having been checked through border control (another stamp in the passport) we went round to collect our baggage - we each had a suitcase of clothes and a suitcase of resources for the school and the church. All the baggage was there! Then we sorted out South African SIM cards for our mobile phones. Next stop was the car hire place and once again everything went smoothly and we set off down the motorway.
Unlike our experience in 2012, there were no blockages on the motorway out of Johannesburg - Tim navigated the way - it was much easier this time round as we recognised various landmarks from our last visit. We stopped off at Spar at Roodeplaat junction (the one we always stop at)! After a picnic lunch we followed the road all the way to Siyabuswa, the South African driving hasn't changed a bit - slow vehicles move to the left - and faster vehicles which ignore the speed limit, overtake on the outside or the inside (it keeps us alert)!
Bishop Hendrick greeted us when we arrived at the Hope for Africa Mission compound, where we'll be staying for the next two weeks. We've unloaded our suitcases from the vehicles and we're settling in to our rooms. Bishop Hendrick sends his greetings to everyone at Park United Reformed Church. Tomorrow we look forward to seeing the changes at Grace Christian School - we've already spotted some changes in Siyabuswa, there is a new shopping mall with a big Shoprite supermarket and a KFC (the first one ever in the town).
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