I posted quickly on facebook yesterday that we had made it to Johannesburg. We arrived at around 8:30 am with about 3 hours to kill so we posted up at a place called “piece of pizza” and relaxed in comfortable chairs. It was nice, having the time helped us get some of the hustle out of our systems and begin slowing it down. The boys had orange sodas and breakfast food, Rebecca had a delicious looking muffin and I had a wood fired pizza.
The final leg of the journey was just a couple hours from Johannesburg to Pemba, Mozambique. Flight was on time and smooth. All 3 boys fell into a deep sleep during this flight, especially Indiana. By the time I got him conscious, he was mad and sad and still dreaming all at the same time. I hugged him and talked nice to him for a long time but he just kept getting more worked up. Finally I asked him why he was so mad and all he was able to muster was a kick in my shins and a fierce “I DON”T KNOW” as crocodile tears rolled off his cheeks. He stayed pretty upset for the next 20 or 30 minutes as we made our way off the plane and through the final stage of security where we had to fill out paperwork and purchase visas.
Once we procured our visas, the final security check is the only thing standing between us and Nunu & Amandas smiling faces…literally, we could see them, smiling from where we stood. This is by far the most important and unfortunately most unpredictable moment in the entire journey. At this point all 13 of our bags get put through the x-ray machine one last time and then the officers get to pull out as many, or few as they wish for inspection. We were told by several people that we should expect some hassle at this point and that we should pray hard and try to remain patient. Rebecca and I were uncharacteristically calm as we watched our bags go through the machine, one by one. After each bag I expected one of the guys to grab it and begin dissecting it while hollering at us. Never happened. I repeat, Never Happened. The bags went through the machine, guys loaded them up nicely on carts and helped us wheel them out to the lobby to hug our friends. I tipped them and we were off and barreling through Pemba in a station wagon on the wrong side of the road.
Perhaps it was the look on Indiana’s face that compelled the officers to check ZERO bags, but my money is on answered prayer. Many, many people have been praying for smooth travels for us, specifically as it relates to obtaining visas in country and getting through this final security checkpoint. Thank you prayer warriors, and Thank you Lord!
Amanda and Nunu had their friends Laura and Lauren follow them so they could haul our bags…what a blessing that was. I think making two trips would have put the boys over the edge. Thanks L&L!! Can’t wait to spend more time with you both.
My thoughts surrounding what I’ve seen and felt in our first 10 hours here are jumbled and probably too long winded to get out after 30 some hours without sleep.
I’ll settle in tomorrow and we’ll start unpacking this beautiful place together.
Oh, and funny story…
When we were heading to SFO on Tuesday I successfully convinced the boys that we needed to come up with a “family saying” so that we could use it to verify for security people, border police and customs agents that we were in fact a family, as opposed to us just smuggling some kids out of the country. I’m not sure why it even crossed my mind and now that I write it, I have no idea why they bought it but they did, especially Indiana. At every security stop all the way to Pemba, he would get very serious and recite the sentence to me a few times to make sure he had it right in case they asked him for it. We weren’t feeling terribly creative on the way to SFO so the saying ended up being, “Eli and Decker like salad.” While practicing, Indy would say “Decker and Eli like salad” and I’d hiss “Wrong, step out of line please and come with me.” Or he’d say they loved instead of like salad and get my same dramatic rendition of how the police officer would respond to the error.
I’ll tell em the truth tomorrow, I just wanted to make sure they had their game faces on at the security checkpoints:)