The Flight to South Africa

Small Town Boy
Lloyd R, McAnelly, Ph.D.
February 1, 2015

The Flight to South Africa
with hunters and missionaries

The beginning of a long journey begins with long hops. In my case I began in Portland Oregon (PDX). In addition to paying the cost to fly from JFK to Johannesburg, South Africa I had to fly cross country to the departure point. I was traveling to South Africa in 1997 as part of a People to People Delegation of Educational Media Consultants under the guidance of Dr. Rob Branch from the University of Georgia.
I left Portland Sunday, July, 1997 on Delta Airlines, and I sat in the rear of the plane with two kids who were flying lone and the flight attendants asked if I could chaperone them. (I must look like the teacher I am). We watched “The Saint” and “The beautician and the Beast.”
When we landed at JFK I was taken to the hotel where I met the rest of the delegation.

– Rob Branch, University of Georgia
John, teacher from Ohio
John, teacher
Gary, IT consultant from Guam
Sandy, Gary’s wife and IT consultant
Me, Instructional Technology Specialist and
Science teacher Portland Public Schools
Veronica, Educationalist for hospital in
Ryad Saudi Arabia
Adele, Librarian, Long Island, NY
Sister Mary, Parochial teacher in Chicago
Cynthia, multicultural specialist in Detroit
Bob, teacher from Detroit
Betty, Education dean University of San

After meeting all the delegates we took a a small break and I had to go have a smoke. There in the hall of the hotel I met the other two smokers on the trip, Sister Mary (who got her cigarettes cheaply from the Indian reservation near Chicago) and veronica who was from Toronto, but was working in Saudi Arabia. She said an Educationalist provided teaching materials at the hospital, such as visual instructions for medications for illiterate Berber women showing how many and what time through pictures.) We would spend a lot of time together because of our common habit.

The next morning we left from Newark, N.J. on a South African Airlines flight to Johannesburg via Cape Verde, the next place we could get off the plane and smoke. Cape Verde was an island and held a major airport for South African Airlines as a stop over and refueling point for the long flight (6 hrs) It was warm and humid. Some of us who were used to these long international flights brought neck pillows and blinders and slept most of the way.

For me, I was too interested in the other passengers. This was only my first trip overseas and i wanted to know what the other passengers were doing. The two most important groups (to me) were the hunters and the missionaries, the irony was not lost on me.

The hunters came in families, mom and dad and the children. One family was from Washington state and another from Montana. They had attended a Safari exhibition in Las Vegas where they had met with hunters, trackers, guides, and others who would be with them or advise on their own private safari in South Africa. They even knew a world famous taxidermist in Tillamook, Oregon. They all had guns in cases in the hold of the plane. The men would go out first to hunt the big animals (the big five were elephant, rhinoceros, leopard, lion and Cape buffalo. (see Later the women would join the men to hunt the plains game: e.g. Springbok Ram, Blesbuck Ram,Black Wildebeest, Warthog or Impala. Their trophy’s would be sent to Tillamook,Oregon.They were all very excited to be on their way.

The missionary young women wore tan pinafores and white blouses. They and the young men had just graduated from their training at Orem, Utah (BYU) and were going on mission for two years in Johannesburg, where there was a Mormon Temple. They were all very excited to be on their way.
The People to People Ambassador programs was established in 1956 by President Dwight David Eisenhower. It purpose was to put ordinary people in touch with ordinary people in other countries in order to share directly with each other. (

In front of the Voortrekker Monument near Pretoria. Several members of our delegation refused to go in in protest of Zulu deaths.


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