Christine: Fine Arts Graduate who works in an advertisement company
Emil: South African. Famous Professional Photographer in South Africa
Emile: Club Founder, Fine Artist
Karen: American. Amateur Photographer
Magdy: Amateur Photographer
Prof. Mohamed: Architect & teaches Architecture in Egypt. Amateur Photographer with a deep & profoud Photography background.
Sarah: Professional Photographer who owns a Studio in Egypt (by then she didn’t own the Studio yet)
Wally: South African/American.Club Founder. Famous Sports Photographer in the U.S.
Me: By then only Amateur Photographer & Beauty Appreciator & a Law school fresh grad
Me with enthusiasm filled with anxiety: Hey Mum, Dad Cairo Camera Club is organizing a trip
Mum & Dad disinterested: Where to?
Me: South Africa, Youpiiiii 😀
Mum did not comment. And Dad: So you wanna go, huh?
Me: Of course. It’s a DREAM. It won’t be like any trip, it’s a Photography Expedition.
Dad: Who’s going?
Me: Two of the Club founders & five other people that I know. We’ll be a group of 8.
Dad: Are they good people?
Me: Of course they are, I would have never thought of telling you about this trip if they weren’t good decent people.
Dad: Note that you’ll have to know every single detail about the trip, you’ll have to tell us where exactly are you going to stay? what are you going to do on daily basis?
Me : Sure I will
Dad: How long are you gonna stay? and how much does it cost?
Me: 10 days, it’ll cost 2000$ & I have the money
Dad: 2.000$ is veryyyy good. But how come you have 2,000$? From where did you get them?
Me: I kept saving money since I’ve heard of that South Africa trip, and as if it was planned by God that my grandpa gave me 5.000LE when I passed my last year in college and by chance I saved another 5.000LE
Dad: I think it’s a great chance. In one hand it’s organized by a Photography Club, it’s not expensive & on the other hand you’ll get to see South Africa and to do the hobby that you are passionate about.
Me: Does that mean that you’ll let me go?
Dad: If you really want to, then go ahead
Mum in disbelief, totally numb to say anything. Ingy my sister was like COOOOOOL!
Dad’s words sounded INCREDIBLE to me. Am I sane or have I gone totally out of my mind? Have I become deaf? Am I dreaming? OH MY GOD, I AM ACTUALLY GOING TO SOUTH AFRICAAAAAAAAAAA…
Me with excitement: Yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah, I really wanna go, Please let me goooo…thank you, thank you, thank youuuuuuuu…Ingyyyyyyyy I’m going to South Africa, Muuuum I’m going to South Africa…Yeeeeeeeeeeeeey!
I’ve been excited for this trip, since I’ve heard that Cairo Camera Club is planning to take us there… I think that this was the most exciting moment in my life, I was too thrilled for the trip. It was a bit similar to my excitement to my trip to Turkey with mum and sister as it was my first time to go a western country, but this time the excitement was different, it was intense. I’m going on a Photography Expedition, my National Geographic thoughts about Adventures are turning into reality, I’m gonna travel on my owwwwwwwwwwwwwwn…Youpiiiiiiii!
I’ve been always dreaming about a trip without my parents, not because I don’t want my parents to be with me. It’s just that I wanted to be independent, act however I like, get late with no arguments or yelling, and to be honest, travelling without parents is really different, as you get to do things that your parents won’t normally allow you to do -like sky diving, tree topping, river rafting, I’m not talking of getting drunk or clubbing like a party animal because such things do not interest me at all-, you get to be responsible of your pocket money and find ways to manage it so you don’t become broke. I actually had plans to skydive & to go rafting, but it seems that my mum’s prayers for her 21 years old girl to not go out of control were much stronger, than my so called foolish intentions.
I was Really Excited, and Anxious in the mean time, hours before the trip, I was worried to forget something, to be late, to miss the plane, to not have fun. I was traveling with people that I barely know. It’s maybe the Excitement that made me feel this way, i really don’t know. I spent the day relaxing at home, then buying the remaining needed stuff, mainly grocery, took my Malaria tablets, and a week or 10 days before took 5 shots (Yellow Fever, Cholera, Typhoid, Hepatitis A, I don’t remember the fifth), but it was ok, I could handle the PAIN and the fever for the sake of TRAVELING). Arrived at the Cairo Airport 5 minutes before our scheduled appointment, my closest friends called me to say goodbye and wish me an extraordinary trip; Safi -my very old school friend since kindergarten-, Ingy -my school friend since 1st secondary & Hashem -my best friend since first year in college-, Menna –another friend from college- called ten minutes after I got to the airport, so my lovely sister Ingy answered & told her that I already left. I found Sarah & Christine at the airport, said goodbye to Mami & Ingy, and was TOTALLY READY TO GO.
Prof. Mohamed arrived, then Karen & Emile -who was late due to Karen’s delay-, the first surprise was Cairo Camera Club caps for all of us -that Karen bought us-, Wouuuhouuu!!! That’s the Spirit :D.
Most of us wore them right away, checked in our bags together, then went to the Duty Free Shops, God 2 hours and a half to goooo…We were already EXHAUSTED as our flight was scheduled to be at 1:00 a.m., and I WAS too READY to BE in Johannesburg (Jo’burg as they call it). A tinny tiny detail that might not add a lot, I went to the restroom, and on my way out my Passport FELL OUT of my hands, but THANK GOD the janitor warned me. Al-Hamdulelah time passed by FAAAAST, we were boarding. Ay yay yay!!! Kenya Airways, seats were tight, but the plane was half empty so I’ve seated on 18 F, Prof. Mohamed on 18 D, 18 E was empty. The take-off was ok, but the meal WAS NOT. It was grilled chicken taste-less, spices-less, nothing was added to it, yuuuk, but what to do we were all STARVING, boiled spinaches with meat sauce, bread & butter, salad, & a WEIRD Mousse Chocolate. Then a Quick landing in Khartoum Airport, I thought it was an Emergency Landing I swear, but it turned to be mentioned in our ticket that there is a 45 minutes transit in Khartoum. WA MA ADRAK WAL KHARTOUM, tribal people were on the plane, I bet that they were refugees transported from Khartoum to Lagos (as we knew later on), what a pity they didn’t know the use of toothpick, 2 girls were climbing on the back of my chair, and my hair was constantly BEYETSHAD. I switched seats, and sat on 18 E, and it only gets better the TALLEST guy -coming from Khartoum- on the plane was sitting next to me, GOD that was tight, he looked so Bohemian, & smelled like SHIT, I suddenly felt dizzy from the food, the smell, the heat, I wanted to throw up, but I didn’t. Had Really bad stomachaches the whole flight, even after taking medicine, then thank God we arrived to Nairobi, to switch flights & go to JO’BURG BABYYYY…
As we got to the Airport, there was no ways of transportation from the plane to the gates. It was raining and we were carrying our carry on bags -back packs stuffed with cameras, lens & related-, and some guard told us that we have 15 minutes left to catch our connection flight –which was not very accurate- at gate 12, while we were near gate 1 :D…We were RUNNING & RUNNING…Emile, Prof. Mohamed, Sarah & I in the front, Karen, Christine & Magdy backwards. We arrived 15 minutes before the flight takes off, the guy at the front desk told us there is NOWAY we can get in. We were going TOTALLY CRAZYYYYY, he was very cool about it, staring at the ceiling, as if happy that we missed it. We asked the counter lady to let us in, she didn’t answer either, speaking to another group, we started yelling “GUYS LET US IN, IT WASN’T OUR FAULT THAT WE WERE 30 MINUTES DELAYED IN CAIRO AIRPORT”, the plane was still in the gate, Ahhhhhhhhhhhh, that’s Irritating!!!
Emile was yelling, Karen as well, I started to yell…the flight was off, and we are still in Nairobi…DAMNNNN!
…to be continued…