Thursday the 6th of May 2010 – 10.23h
I am now on the plane, about 6 hours away from Cape Town, hovering just above the Indian Ocean. I have never been on a long-haul flight and am amazed at the service and information Emirates have given out yesterday and today. Just before we took-off, on the main screen, there was a live camera of the runway we would use to take-off and we could actually see the view the pilot had as we took-off. I have already had breakfast on the plane and will be having lunch in a couple of hours too.
The journey from Dubai to Cape Town is 9 hours long and I cannot stop that mind of mine ticking away. I want to jot down all the things that are going through my mind before my arrival in Africa to look back at this in three months time and see how my questions will have been answered.
I am feeling similar to how I probably felt about 20 years ago, when I was a little boy going to school for the very first time, not knowing what to expect. The difference is that back then I wouldn’t have thought so much about what I would expect and rack my mind about it.
I am currently the furthest away I have ever been from “home” and am wondering what my home is going to be like for the next three months.
Is South Africa really as dangerous as the media and my family and friends make out?
What will the children I will be trying to guide be like?
Will I be able to achieve their acceptance?
Who will be my friends for the next three months?
Will I have a shoulder to cry on if needed?
How much will I miss my family and friends?
What will be the best moment of my trip?
Will I want to return?
Will I have any regrets?
Will England or Spain win the World Cup?
What will winter be like in Cape Town?
Questions which have no answers at this moment in time.
As I write this post I am currently watching the film Invictus on the plane. The word inspiration keeps coming up. Of all the doubts I have, the main thing on my mind is whether I will be able to make a difference in Africa. I have had people tell me that by doing this I will not change the world, and they are right. But, as long as I am able to make a little difference in any way, shape or form, these three months will be a success story for me.
To make sure this happens I will be taking my inspiration from the following prayer that I always carry in my pocket:
“I said a prayer for you today &
know god must have heard,
I felt the answer in my heart
although he spoke no word.
I didn’t ask for wealth or fame
(I knew you wouldn’t mind),
I asked him to send treasures
of a far more lasting kind.
I asked that he’d be near you
at the start of each new day
to grant you health and blessings
and friends to share your way.
I asked for happiness for you
in all things, great & small –
but it was for his loving care
I prayed for most of all.”