Our journey started at 8 am on Friday the 28th of June. Iain Smith kindly offered to drive Jenni and I to Edinburgh Airport and we made good time. Check-in was absolutely packed as it was the beginning of the school holidays. For some reason we weren’t able to print out my boarding pass but this was quickly fixed at the desk.
The flight was slightly delayed but we arrived at Heathrow Terminal 5. Signage to get to the other terminals wasn’t superb and we ended up taking the bus. At one point Jenni was in the bus, I was still get my bags and doors were closed! Yikes, we hadn’t even left the UK and we were going to be separated. Never fear, doors opened, bags on bus and off to Terminal 1
We got checked in at Terminal 1 with ease. Bags away and sent directly through Blantyre! We had lovely dinner and felt the excitement at last....we were on our way! In the check in we met up with a large group (27) with t-shirts emblazoned with ‘Classrooms for Malawi’. In discussion with them, it turns out that I knew one gentleman, Tony Begley, who has previously done work for Mary’s Meals and has visited Kincardine in Menteith. They seemed to be bringing loads of balls etc as well as their skills in building classrooms so we wondered if they shouldn’t be called ‘Tennis Ball for Malawi’. They will be returning on our flight in two week so it will be interesting to hear of their progress.
The flight itself was 10 hours and fifteen minutes. We had a good meal and before the battle could begin in Les Miserables on my TV, I was fast asleep and managed a good 4 or 5 hours. Jenni had a really good sleep just as we took off but wasn’t as fortunate during the bulk of the flight.
Johannesburg airport is fantastic! We cleared immigration and had a couple of hours to wander around. There are some lovely shops there and a few purchases were made! There was also an amazing statue of Nelson Mandela made out of wire, so we had our picture taken there, particularly poignant at this time of his failing health.
The flight to Blantyre went quickly and 27 hours from leaving Dunblane, we had arrived in Malawi. Even better, so did all our bags!