John and I have been fortunate to be invited of some wonderful trips with friends and family. The most memorable during our four years of marriage have been snow skiing at Lake Tahoe with John’s brother Crawford and his family, and a week in Cabo Mexico with some of our dear Mobile friends and two other couples. In our non-stop, pedal to the metal lifestyle, it seems as though it takes an actual invitation to slow us down and explore new territory.
This time the invitation is taking us to South Africa. You’ve seen photos and heard me talk about our good friends here in Texas, the Pratkas. The Pratka family, including the mom and dad, three sons and their significant others, signed up for the hunting trip of a lifetime in South Africa. With room for two more in the hunting cabin, they extended the invitation to John and me. The discussions John and I had for the next few nights always came back to validating the trip because “when will we ever get a chance to do this again?” We could NOT turn down this offer.
So here we are, frantically packing and waiting on last minute Amazon shipments to arrive. We leave at 6 a.m. tomorrow morning (Wednesday) which will kick off our 36 hour travel adventure. The trip to our hunting cabin goes a bit something like this: 23 hours in the air, 6 hours hanging in an airport and 5 hours driving. And that’s if all goes according to plan….
LL Bean Vest $20, North Face Hiking Boots $30
1. Get ready to set aside A LOT of time to fill out paperwork to import guns into another country. While this is a pain, it is reassuring to know that this isn’t an easy task…
2. Make copies of everything- passports, drivers license, credit cards, safari invitation letters, and the list goes on. Also take photos of what you are packing.
3. Your check bag can only weigh 50 pounds…. (I’m anticipating some trouble here)
4. Remember that it’s a different season on the other side of the world- I’m packing sweaters, jackets, gloves and thick socks (although it pains me to think about a jacket in this overbearing TX heat!)
5. Electrical outlets are different over there- a converter is necessary.
6. Download movies on the iPad for the L-O-N-G flight- I’m starting with season 1 of Mad Men.
7. Plane necessities include- neck pillow, bose headphones, a book or two, a few movies, favorite playlists and Ambien.
8. Study up on African Wildlife (saving this for the plane ride).
9. Watch the movie- Ghosts in the Darkness. It’s a 1996 film featuring Michael Douglas and Val Kilmer. Set in 1898, this movie is based on the true story of two lions in Africa that killed 130 people over a nine month period. I'm not sure what I was expecting, but this horror film didn't exactly give me the warm fuzzies. Now, I'm about to travel almost 10,000 miles to the origin of this dreadful legend!
10. Prepare to purchase (or rent) some random things.... My first Chinese receipt!
We are in for the adventure of a lifetime. I am truly excited to have the chance to see a part of the world I have never seen before and see many of God’s creatures at home in the wilderness. Thanks for the invite Pratkas! I cannot wait to see what the next couple of weeks hold!