Teaching in South AfricaThe final leg of my adventure took me to Johannesburg. As we flew from Port Elizabeth to Johannesburg, I realized that my journey was nearly over.
The following morning, all of the teachers decided to go shopping at the shopping center in Sandton. We took the hotel shuttle back to the airport and boarded the train to Sandton. It was a quick train ride into town and then a short walk to the mall. We shopped for hours stopping only long enough to get a quick bite to eat. This was our only day shopping for souvenirs for family and friends so we were trying to get the most out of it. We also stopped for some photos in Nelson Mandela square, which is currently undergoing some remodeling. I'm not even sure how tall this statue is, but obviously it's much larger than I.
(View of Johannesburg from the train.)
In the evening, we met up for dinner and more chatting. Our group had bonded into a family at this point, and any smaller group of our larger group could easily get along. These gals are all incredible women. I learned so much from them while I was there.
The next day, I taught my first class bright and early in the morning. I shared with them my backstory about losing Joey and how important I've discovered this hobby to be. They were receptive and generous as they listened. We made the layout, and spent two and a half hours together creating our project.
For the rest of the day I actually took my first break of the vacation. Nearly every other minute of my trip has been spent doing something, and I realized I was getting exhausted and needed to rest. So I took a nap, read a book, and watched a movie. It was heavenly. While I thought I might be more relaxed on the Safari, I found myself too busy to stop and breathe. It was good to take some time on this day to do so.
The following morning I taught another session of my class again at 8 a.m. I like teaching early in the morning. Since I'm already typically awake, I enjoy being with others to keep me company. All three classes on this trip were full of beautiful girls who support and love one another in their hobby. I LOVE that!
(View outside of our hotel in Johannesburg.)
On this leg of the trip I again roomed with Rachel. I'm sure she was sick of me, as I kept her up quite late every night chatting. She's wonderful! While we were there, her house and business were flooded in a freak hailstorm. I can't imagine how worried she must have been, but she was calm and collected as she received updates from her husband on the damage. Being away from family for almost two weeks is difficult, but I can't imagine having something go wrong while I was gone. Again, as I think back on the friends that I made on this trip, I feel really, really blessed.
At this point of the trip, I was really missing Brett and the kids. Isn't it funny how you get all excited to go away, and then you get excited to come back home?
The night I boarded my flight from Johannesburg to New York, I realized how content I actually was. I think I did nearly everything I wanted to. I met the most incredible people (including Glenda's sweet boys, and her amazing husband and staff). I really had a once-in-a-lifetime trip, and I'm so grateful that I was able to have this experience. We did one more round of shopping for some last-minute gifts. I was a little saddened by this display, but I would imagine it's no different than cowhide rugs for us. It's just that you don't see a Zebra everyday in my neck of the woods.
As I deboarded the plane in Salt Lake City, nearly a full 24 hours after boarding my first flight I could not wait to see everyone. There is something about coming home satisfied that makes travel even more special.
I'm looking forward to teaching again in the future, but for now you can find me through my social media channels. Pop in and say hi if you were one of my delegates! I'd love to see you again.