Sorry about the delay, but we have arrived safely in Durban.  We could not tell you earlier becuase we temporarly lost power for a few hours last night, the only bump on a remarkable journey.  And though we feel we know neither the day or the hour, sources insist that it is somehow Wednesday morning, we are excited about all that has happened and all that is to come.

The flight:  The longest  non-stop flight in the world, 14 hours and 45 minutes, arrived exactly on time in Johannesburg, making it the only flight that has arrived on time in the past two years for me.  The crew was unfailingly polite and genrous and we were entertained by a host of options from our personal tvs.  So it was not exactly Lindbergh’s lonely voyage.  About the only thing similar to Lindbergh was the lack of sleep.  The kids might have gotten an hour or two and none the adults quite an hour.  Yet, we could take solace n seeing a sunrise and set in the same flight.

The accomodations:  I am writing from Mackaya Bella, clearly my favorite bread and breakfast in Durban.  The rooms are hadsome, our hosts Louise and John are wonderful and the breakfast was delicious.  The beds were comfortable although last night we would have slept on the iron frame and not complained. 

The Welcome:  But the best part of the day was being greeted by Mpume, her friend Stanley, Nhloso and Mpume’s Godddaughter and two girls from KwaNdebeqheke who greeted us with a hand beaded sign in English and a painted one in Zulu.  The distance and the time both collapsed as we felt Mpume’s incredibly warm and excited presnece and say Nhloso’s  wide grin again.  It is something to be so far from where you live and feel right at home. 

Stanley gave us a great tour of Durban as we traversed from the airport north of Durban to our B%B south of the city center.  We glimpsed the new Fooball Stadium built for last year’s World Cup and the Rugby stadium.  I glimpsed the Indian Ocean for the first time and marveled at its big waves and dark blueness.  Durban is a beautiful hilly city with an impressive downtown.  We certainly look forward to getting to know the area better.  W finished our veneing with an amazing dinner of South African food prpared by Mpume including chockolocka (as in boom chockolocka?).  We reminisced their stay in Albany and look forward to urs n South Africa.Finally , our exhaused crew returned to Mackaya Bella.  Helen, Freddie, Diana, Fred and I all ried to regularize our sleep by staying up late and we proudly claimed victory at 8:30pm.  Today is a slow day so we can revcover with only the Harry Potter opening night tonight, three days before it opens in the US.  Stay tuned for Helen’s review tomorrow.  God bless you all from South Africa.

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