TIA - This is Africa

We've not complained much since we've been in South Africa, mostly because 1) we really love the country and the people and 2) we're visitors and are mindful of that. I guess I did spout out about load shedding once, but overall we've been pretty good. There's an expression here that we've heard time and again … TIA … This is Africa … usually used to explain to non-Africans why things don't always work out as planned or simply don't work at all. Lately, it's been more and more applicable. africa map

At the end of March, David ordered a part from the USA that he was unable to locate in South Africa. He paid for expedited service and the part arrived in Johannesburg within three days. Since that time, we have been waiting for the parcel to be sorted, clear Customs, put on a plane/truck to Cape Town and be delivered to us. Folks at the yacht club have been extremely helpful making calls, trying to locate the package, trying to expedite the processing … all to no avail. One day we hear the package is in Johannesburg, the next day we're told it's already in Cape Town and the day after that … it's in Johannesburg and hasn't cleared Customs yet. Subsequently, we went on a wild goose chase one day when we were told it had been sitting at the local post office for over a week. We spent an hour in the post office, only to be told it was still in Customs up in Johannesburg.

Phone calls to appropriate numbers go unanswered. E-mails are rarely acknowledged and when they are, there is no information available. The on-line tracking program doesn't have the package in the system yet, though it arrived three weeks ago. One woman indicated it was locked in a container at the Cape Town distribution center, but the postal workers were on a work slow-down and she wasn't sure when they'd get around to opening the container. To date, we're really not sure where it is or when or if we'll see it. Frustrating … you bet! But This is Africa.