Thursday, February 6, 2014
Today was overall a really good day. I only cried when my family dropped me off to the airport and i realized the day had finally arrived. The dulles airport was ridiculous. It took me about 45 minutes to reach my gate. After i checked in, i didnt know what to do next. The guy who checked me in just said "Thanks for flying SAA, enjoy your flight". That's it. So i gave my mother, sister,and grandma another hug and went looking for my gate. Security is like the worse part of flying. Mainly because you never know whether something is going to alert the computer. Dulles is really cool though---they had this thing that you stand in with your hands up for like three seconds and it scans you. Best scanner ever. LOL.
After that, i got to ride a train to my gate. You know an airport is big when there are trains inside. When i got to my gate, they announced that we had to wait 30 extra minutes past the already hour and a half wait to board the plane because the crew was late. I knew from the orientation information that we received from Rhodes international office that there were a few other Americans going to rhodes, so i was looking around to see if i saw anyone fairly close to my age. I had already spotted Dom, who was also going from my school, so i was trying to look for some other young faces. But apparently there were a few older tourist groups who were travelling to South Africa. When we boarded the plane, i was amazed by how nice of a ride this next 18 hours was going to be. Each passenger was given a pillow, blanket, and a ziplock bag with toothpaste, a tooth brush,a sleeping mask, and a pair of socks. I thought that was pretty neat.
After our plane took off, we were served dinner, drinks, and tea or coffee. The flight crew was lovely and everything was done so quickly. Now the flight itself was another story. Flying for 18 hours is a very long time and especially when you are sitting so close to a stranger. You cannot really stretch out and it can be quite a task to get comfortable. I do not think i have flown more than 10 hours for one trip, probably no more than 6 so it was pretty long. SAA makes the ride smooth though by providing on flight entertainment for each passenger to control for themselves. I played games, watched movies, listened to music, and tons of other things. I am definitely glad i chose to fly with them. When we made our first stop in Senegal i thought it was still night time but we had been flying for almost 8 hours. I was so disoriented. When the next crew and slew of passengers got on board, i asked my new neighbor what time it was and he said 7 am. I was like oh no i want to go back to sleep. But i read that the best way to adjust to time changes is to stay awake during the day and sleep at night so that your body adjusts. I didnt care i went back to sleep.