For many that know me well, and not so well, I have been viewed as a person that over analizes things. There is much truth to this form of processing I do - Everyday! One might imagine that this visit to South Africa has got my mind working overtime. It is true. Today has provided us with a much needed day off - a time for reflection - to attempt to organize the multitude of overwhelming thoughts and emotions evoked from this Global Seminar experience thus far.
Forgive me if I get to bouncing around with the sharing of my thoughts, but I hope it all comes together to make some kind of sense. This morning I awoke a bit groggy, but somewhat excited because we don't have anything scheduled in the way of seminar curriculum - a free day! A few of the ladies and I set up hair appointments right down the block at a convenient store/beauty salon.
The store owner walked down the street to a neighboring salon and called a couple of friends to make sure accommodations were made for all of us to be able to get our hair done. An impressive community effort! My dreads were done by a young man that completed his work faster and with craftsmanship than anyone that has ever done my hair. I was very pleased and tipped accordingly. The whole group of stylists were very appreciative of my gratuity. Their smiles were very bright and long lasting.
I returned to my living area to find that everyone had gone somewhere, which I greatly appreciated in order to really be able to engage in my reflection process. I made myself something to eat, did a load of laundry, tidied my sleeping area and then sat down to construct this writing.
Some of us started our trip with enormous disappointment. I will refer to us as the Delta 4. We are the 4 global seminar participants that with the help of Delta Airline, missed our scheduled flight out of Mpls International airport. 6 lines, 5 hours, and a few assertive conversations later, we were rescheduled for a flight leaving 2 days later. In my experience that day, there were relationships forged between the 4 of us and I felt a sense of responsibility for this group to insure their safe arrival to Cape Town. 2 lengthy flights later with a stop in Amsterdam, we landed safely in Cape Town.
I experienced great anxiety, frustration, fatigue, anger, helplessness, exhaustion, impatience, and hope during our challenging airport ordeal. We were instructed on several occasions by Delta personnel to stand in various lines of great length only to be told that we have to go to another. My feelings of anger and frustration were subdued only by the thought of my need to maintain to avoid ending up on the " no fly list". It ended up that we all persevered by getting tickets for a new flight, and agreed that we would arrive back at the airport on the day of departure 4 hours early. The flights were long, the food was mediocre, but the flight attendants were incredibly pleasant.
In order to not make reading my entries too painful with too many lengthy stories at a time, I will stop here. I will continue to share about my reflections in a somewhat chronological format and continue to hope they make sense.......stay tuned.