What an ‘interesting’ few days its been.
Two days before we left South Africa my right ear became blocked. We thought it was possibly a wax buildup and I got some Waxol and put it in. The next day we did it again, and I had the most excruciating pain when I sat up, it was so bad that I was in tears and almost made my mom take me to the ER.
In fact the next morning she did take me since I was feeling nauseous and my ear was still sore, the doc gave me a drip with anti-nausea stuff and pain medication and ordered irrigation. The first few tries were uncomfortable but not sore then she changed the angle and OMG! The pain! I made her stop and refused further treatment.
I came home and went to sleep. As soon as I woke up I was ill and then every time I sat up I was sick again. I was either sleeping or hanging over the toilet seat and completely missed the braai my mom organized as well as all the visitors that came past to say goodbye.
After everyone had left my mom took me back to the ER since I was so dehydrated and still nauseous. They gave me more anti-nausea stuff and got me a name of an ENT to see the next morning (the day we were leaving!).
I seriously didn’t think I was going to be allowed to fly. As sick as I was on Sunday, I woke up feeling ok-ish on Monday morning. Paul got me an appointment at about 11am. We saw a great ENT who charged us an absolute fortune to see us on such short notice. He also did ultrasounds of my ears and cleared out a TON of wax from the right ear using microscopic instruments and a very expensive operating microscope. Once the wax was clear we found a small ‘v’ shaped tear in my eardrum. We are not sure if the hole was there before the irrigation or if the irrigation caused the hole but flying with a hole in your eardrum is ok, so away we went!
We got to the airport early so we could check in the 10 huge bags we had. We were the first in the queue and watched the security guys check the counters and general area before they opened up. Suddenly we were being told to clear the area. There was an unattended bag near the check in counters and they were calling in the sniffer dogs. Two gorgeous doggies came to sniff out any explosives and after about 10 minutes we were given the all clear to proceed.
We were questioned by the El Al staff and allowed to check our bags in. 10 bags takes a LONG time to check in. Once we were done we got dinner with my mom and Brian and then said a teary goodbye. Its was really hard saying goodbye to my mom. Especially as we had been staying with her 24/7 for 4 weeks. We made it quick if not painless.
Passport control was short and simple and we stopped off at the Mugg & Bean which overlooks the tarmac and actually overlooked our plane. The kids were fascinated. Pretty soon boarding started and they kindly allowed those of us with little ones to board first. We got our seats and landed up with a free seat next to us so Faith got to stretch out and slept pretty much the whole way to Israel. Aaron slept as well but I didnt since I was sitting next to him and he managed to kick me a few times as he moved.
Next thing you know we were being served breakfast and getting ready to land. I was anxious about my ears but it turned out this was the easiest landing I have ever had. My left ear got sore for about 5 minutes. Then it ‘popped’ and it was clear. No hassles at all!
Once we landed we walked down to passport control and used the direct line telephone to call the Absorption office. One of the staff members arrived a few minutes later and escorted us to the passport control desk where they informed the controller that we were new immigrants. He checked our passports, stamped them and we then went up to the office where we filled out a few forms, had our pictures taken, chose our medical aid, were given a sim card with NIS 200 and were then given our new ID books. The whole process took about an hour. Once that was done we were put on a taxi and taken to our new home.
Its quite surreal how in less than 24 hours we went from one country to another, one home to another, one nationality to another. I think I am still going to be hit with the reality of it all but for now we are settling in and learning our new surroundings. Stay tuned for Part Two: Our first few days!