Meeting Eye to Eye

In Blogland we meet many people.  We come to know much about them and their lives.  We become quite fond of some of them and we enjoy them tremendously.  Yet, I have come to realise that we do not know them, we only know about them, and we are not fond of them, we become fond of an image of them... and I would love to actually get to know them personally... to look them in the eye and hear their voices because then I could call them friends.

So, when I read that Gaelyn from http://geogypsy.blogspot.com/ is coming to South Africa I was very excited.  At last it would be possible to meet this very interesting person who spends her life as a park ranger at the Grand Canyon and posts the most delightful photo's of her environment.  Despite my aversion to driving distances, traffic and the city in general, I decided that it would be worth all of that to meet her and a lunch date was set up compliments of Joan  from http://saphotographs.blogspot.com/.

On Wednesday morning I was up bright and early, much too excited to sleep in even though I did not have to go to work.  Out came my best pair of jeans and a light, bright shirt... even some foundation, mascara and lipstick... and I was dressed and ready to roll hours early.  Just as well, because it gave me time to drive the 160 km to Pretoria in a relaxed mood and pick up a new shirt for hubby and a birthday gift for Jo-Anne before it was time for lunch.

(I must admit, not being a very social human bean, I was a bit anxious about meeting three new people all at once.  I guess the introvert in me was hammering on the door of the closet to get out...)

Joan was picking Gaelyn up from the airport and they arrived at the Spur Steak Ranch in the Kolonade Shopping Centre just at the same time as I arrived - perfect timing.  My very first impression of Gaelyn on meeting her was:  "You are so little!" ... after all she did go for all those long, long hikes all over America, carting a packpack along for days on end... and the second was:  What a lovely smile she has.

Joan was my second surprise for the day.  I have known about her blog for some time from her comments on Geogypsy, but I have never really been a follower.  Such a warm and interesting person and I have been missing out on her blog all this time... it is now rectified.  Did I mention that she is a tour guide in the Kruger National Park... she was the first female ever to be appointed!  Anything you want to know about bugs? Speak to her, she knows them all (chuckle).

Soon Eleanor,  from http://thatchwick.blogspot.com/ arrived.  Another blogger that I have know about for some time, but have never followed.  She lives in the most adorable thatchroofed house and that is where her blog gets it's name from.  Here are the four of us getting to know one another a little bit. (Smile for the birdie!)

Left to right:  Eleanor, Anne, Joan and Gaelyn
We visited for about two hours and it was much too short, but alas, Eleanor had to return to work, I had to drive back to Naboom and Gaelyn and Joan had South Africa waiting to be explored.

It was such a pleasure meeting you ladies and Gaelyn, I hope that our country and your visit will be everything you dreamed about and more.

PS:  I was right!  Meeting these three ladies was well worth it!


Jo said...

That's WONDERFUL...!!! And what a beautiful photo. :-)

I once met one of my blogging friends. She came to visit me from Texas, and we took an instant disliking to each other. She drank beer from morning (literally FOR breakfast) until night. I would say she consumed at least eight cans of beer an hour. My house reeked of beer and cigarettes. Whenever we went out anywhere, we had to stop at every pub and sit at the bar and drink beer.

I was so relieved when she went home. I felt very bad. Needless to say, we are no longer blogging friends.

You're very lucky your blogging friends turned out to be such lovely people!

A human kind of human said...

See what I mean Jo? We get to like the image that we form of a fellow blogger not the person him/herself. Yes, I guess I am lucky that all three turned out to be who they are. Now for the million dollar question: When am I meeting you? (lol)

JD said...

Loved seeing the photo of you! So glad you got together with this group, sounds like a great experience all around.

I've also been fortunate to meet many of my online friends, and most, if not all, have been the very same in person than the person I got to know through their blogs/emails/etc... Fantastic all around!!

If I'm ever in South Africa, Anne, I would *love* to meet you!!!!

Arley said...

Thats so awsome!! I have many blogging friends I'd love to meet. (You, of course, Jo, Michelle, and so many more.) How wonderful for you to get that chance!! So glad you ladies hit it off!!!

A human kind of human said...

JD, I think we will need a bit more time than 2 hours, so do your planning right (lol). Remember I have a spare bed in my house, and it is a double so hubby can come also.

Arley, just let me know the date and don't leave my "grandchildren" behind (smile).

Deborah said...

That's a very neat experience! Quite amazing that four of you were all able to meet up at once. And it's always safer to do it on neutral ground for the first time - Jo's experience confirms that!

Argent said...

I'd love to meet quite a few of my blogging friends. I'm very aware that they may not be like their online personas in real life, but it has to be worth a shot I think. Probably best to meet somewhere neutral to start and see how it goes. I'm glad it worked out for you and if I'm ever in SA...

Tim Bouwer said...

So great to meet people that you get to know online! Great story, Anne!

A human kind of human said...

Deborah, yes it was a nice bonus to meeting Gaelyn to be able to meet the other two also. They live quite close to one another.
Argent, whenever you are in SA just let me know!

leilani said...

I think that is wonderful!

janis said...

Oh how wonderful! I would love to meet so many of Blog World friends. Would I disapoint? Would I be disapointed? Oh how I feel so close to some in such a weird way. I feel like they are my friends but then it sounds strange to say my friend from South Africa, my California friend.
I feel you are so lucky to have this opportunity. Thank you for sharing this fabulous post!

Jo said...

Ann, what a wonderful post.I've followed your blog for some time now. I'm a South African but my husband works in the Sudan, so I have moved there to live with him. We come out every three months for a three-week break. I too, have followed Gaelyn's blog for the past year. She has booked with my son and dil to hike the Natal Drakensberg and we are also hoping to meet up with her somewhere.

A human kind of human said...

Tim, sometimes we meet them before we get to know them online, even when they live on another continent - lol.

Leilani,just let me know when you want to come visit with our dolphins and the whales.

Janis I know! I also speak about my friends and don't you think it would be wonderful if we could all meet at a special blogger event somewhere exotic one day, something like taking over an island for a week and fill it with blogger friends...

Jo, I know you (well about you). You are the lady with the lovely garden somewhere in the Vrystaat! (lol)

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

What a lovely post you did on this Anna. It was wonderful meeting you too. Eleanor and I have met twice before and getting to chat with Gaelyn and have her here was amazing. We had a wonderful time together and I was sorry to have to get back home.

You have my number now, if you come to PTA again lets get together again.