After leaving Schiphol Amsterdam Airport, the trip finally began to South Africa. My first flight was short, flying for about an hour to Frankfurt.

On Frankfurt airport walking to gate from arrival gate to departure gate.

On Frankfurt airport walking from arrival gate to departure gate.

According to the plane ticket the boarding for my next flight already began on the arrival in Frankfurt. So it was a bit of a rush to get to the other side of the airport, but when arriving at the gate the boarding hadn’t begun yet.

The second flight was from Frankfurt to Cape Town and took a bit longer. There were two things I noticed during this trip, one was that you better need to bring your own entertainment system if you travel using Condor and booked economy class. One free movie and episode of a serie during the flight, and for 8 euro’s you could buy a code to watch all other movies. The second was that this was a ‘night’ flight so during the flight you needed to sleep because when arriving at Cape Town it was morning. The people in front of me were so nice that they put their seat as flat as possible so that I and the guy sitting next to me had little room for our legs. According to the UP I slept for a couple of hours, just enough to feel a bit of awake 🙂

Arriving in Cape Town was beautiful. As the plane is getting ready for landing it makes almost a circle above Cape Town and you get a beautiful view of the city. I needed to wait a couple of hours before flying to Port Elizabeth, so it was time for some real food. First thing was the ATM, I didn’t know if euro’s were accepted so some South Africa Rand’s (ZAR) would come in handy. I really had no clue what one ZAR is worth so when I came to the ATM I thought lets start with 100 ZAR, when I’m in Port Elizabeth I will get some more. I’ve read that skimming is also a problem in South Africa when you’re at the ATM. Therefore I always push on the button to get a receipt so if your card is skimmed you can track the ATM they used.

After getting some money, it was time to get some lunch. I didn’t know anything about the food prices in South Africa and only read earlier that the food in South Africa is pretty cheap. After 2 cokes and that delicious sandwich the bill came. Total: 80 ZAR (about 5,84 euro) Only had a bill for a hundred and told the waitress she could keep the rest as a tip. She was really happy! After a couple of days I understand why, the average employee earns about 90 ZAR a day.

On the airport there is free WiFi so I checked a bit what I missed in the couple of hours of flying. You get 50 MB / 30 minutes of free internet access, after that you need to pay. I was interested in the way they track you for your free 30 minutes and noticed the system uses the address that is assigned to your network card of your laptop or mobile device (it’s called the MAC address). The MAC address is used to determine if you ever connected before on a WiFi hotspot in South Africa from the provider on the airport. So by changing your laptop’s MAC address you get another 50 MB / 30 minutes of free WiFi.

Time to check-in and fly to Port Elizabeth. This time a smaller plane, I estimate about 60-80 people. Again a seat next to the window and that made the flight a great experience, you could see the landscape from South Africa clearly. Also this time I had someone from South Africa sitting next to me and we started to talk about the cultural differences between South Africa and The Netherlands. Of course the Dutch dikes, windmills and other typically Dutch subjects came by. At a certain point we were talking about the power grid. Well in South Africa that’s a bit different then in The Netherlands, because the country is developing there is more and more need for electricity but not always the asked amount of electricity can be produced. There are a few windmills in Port Elizabeth but for power they use coal. A power blackout happens from time to time.

Arriving in Port Elizabeth someone from Ready4Life was there to pick me up. I received my welcome package and we drove to the house in which I’m sleeping for the next couple of days. Arriving there I met another volunteer that stayed in the house. She is friendly and after a fun evening of getting to know each other it was time for me to go to bed. Finally some sleep 🙂

>> Next entry: Day 2: Meeting people at ‘the office’

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