After finishing up our team debrief and sending off most of the team, it was time for a big road trip to South Africa via Botswana, for meetings at our Regional Office as well as some training. We
packed up the Hilux and arrived at the Botswana border, 3 1/2 hours away, at 9 am, only to find out that we had forgotten Ben’s birth certificate back at home. There was nothing for it but to turn around, go back and get it, and return to the border at 5 pm. They very pleasantly stamped us across, and we drove ahead with no idea where we would stay that night as we would never make our planned destination. Along the way, Kevin found a place online and sent them an email before our Namibia phone coverage completely disappeared. We drove on into the dark and a road (the Trans-Kalahari Highway) that was swarming with cows, donkeys, horses, small antelope, big antelope, ostrich, warthog and I don’t know what else. It was like a barnyard out there and we just prayed we wouldn’t hit anything. We arrived at the hoped-for destination, after 14 hours of driving, at 9 pm to find they were ready for us. Thanks be to God!
The next morning, we hit the road at 8:30 am after a cooked breakfast at the nice restaurant (we were the only guests) and drove without stopping except at the border, only arriving close to 6 pm at our destination. It took much longer than anticipated and the pouring rain for the last 2 hours didn’t help. We were so thankful for the safe travel, and also for the renewal of our South African tourist visas so we wouldn’t have to apply for extensions from with the country.
We will never forgot the birth certificates again, that is for sure! One must have the original copy to enter South Africa (and apparently Botswana now) whenever traveling with children. They are trying to combat child trafficking, and we applaud their efforts. But next time. . . that will be top of the list to pack. 🙂 – C