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Funny thing happened on the way to the airport. Before I came to South Africa I heard and read about the corruption ...even in law enforcement. We did not experience any throughout the trip. However....driving from Botswana to Victoria Falls to catch a flight to Joburg, we see the sign to Zambia again and a line of trucks and cars a mile long which Charl explained are people heading to Zambia. There is one ferry. Sometimes it could take weeks to get there.

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We (actually Rick and Daisy) decide to stop for a photo op by the sign. Rick has a T-shirt from a friend that he likes to wear in certain photos, this being one of them. Charl and our driver (Loste) said it's ok, so we stop, snap and all of a sudden...the Botswana cops are on us " like white on rice. ". Loste is talking to the officers and finally opens the door to our vehicle and retrieves some paperwork. I ask him if we are in trouble and in his Zulu - accented English says: "yes", and returns to continue conversing with the officers. Charl decides he needs to step in and goes over and starts to help with the discussion.

Finally both Charl and Loste get back in the vehicle and Charl tells us they wanted a bribe but it's a very tender subject. It needs to be handled very diplomatically. The officers wanted almost $300. After negotiations and some sweat off the brow, they accepted $50.00. Apparently, this goes on all the time. They knew where we were heading and could actually have radioed ahead and continued to do so all the way to our destination and all of these officers could have collected all the way down the line. We were lucky, we got off with a bargain. We contributed to the fine..after all...Rick did get a pretty picture of himself with his t-shirt.

The T-shirt came from a criminal law judge...he may have had something to say about this!

And.....just after leaving Botswana and our wheels were back in Zimbabwe, we are confronted with a congress!

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There was heightened security at our gate at Joburgh due to the Nigerian incident and who knows what else so we went through a pat-down and our carry-on was searched...nobody seemed to mind...better safe than sorry.

And you know the rest of the story (15 hrs to New York, nonstop!)

Posted by Linda Fluckiger 01:59 Archived in South Africa

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Well done!!! Thanks for sharing.

by Yolanda Bocanegra

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