I had a perfect flight over to PE. Now who would think airlines still served meals AND complimentary cocktails, wine, and beer in-country? South African Airways does! However, since it was only 1:30, even I was not interested in a glass of wine, and since I had just eaten a giant Wimpy burger, had to pass on the meal as well. I was met by the International Office staff, and dropped at the Fifth Avenue Beach House, where I will be staying through Thursday. Let me just say that I have passed the most enjoyable evening, sitting out on my balcony, smelling the ocean breeze, and enjoying a light supper of strawberries, gouda, chocolate, and sauvignon blanc.
I opened all the windows as it is a beautiful day here--unlike the cold and raining morning when I left Cape Town.
My balcony overlooks the front garden and gate, and I am a mere 5 minutes from the beach and the shops.
My suite: too bad I am not a TV person, eh?
You can bet your booties that I am going to check out this whirlpool within the next hour! I cannot wait, given how much walking and stair climbing I have done in the last 2 weeks.
I hope I don't get lost in the shower in the morning. This shower is bigger than some of the homes I have been in here.
And, I am really really happy to have some internet in my room, on my laptop! Woo hoo! I suspect I will be here for a long time tonight, and in the middle of the night, and in the morning. I am way behind on posting, not to mention not having had time to read any blogs. When you only get online once in two weeks, you have to use the time wisely!
Needless to say, the university (Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University) has put me in some lovely accommodations, and I am most appreciative. I have a fairly full day of meetings tomorrow with various staff members and faculty about the exchange programs and joint research. I am certain it will be as incredible as my last visit here in 2002. I can truthfully say that I have never had a bad time in South Africa. The people are hospitable and gracious, and I learn much and value my relationships here. As always, I am so incredibly blessed that this is my life's work.
The students all went home last night, and hopefully, they are all back in Mississippi and enjoying seeing families and friends and the hot and humid weather. It was a wonderful trip for me, and I can say with all sincerity that it is the second best trip here I have ever had. I just doubt anything will ever replace the year I did sabbatical here, but I am up for trying. This crew certainly is right on up there! They make me proud.