DSi Ambassador Sheri Brynard shares her experience of travelling alone during COVID-19 restrictions in South Africa.

"When I got an invitation to address the 4th Annual Special needs and Disability Compliance in Basic and Higher Education conference personally, in May this year, I was so happy. My live presentations are mostly on hold because of COVID this year.

I was especially happy because I again had the opportunity to fly on my own from Bloemfontein to Johannesburg.

My flight was early in the morning, and it was still dark when my mother left me at the airport building.

Before COVID-19, I always did it that way, but when I wanted to enter the main building, the new COVID protocols were different from before COVID.  I watched what the other people did and then followed them to fill in the new forms about my health, which we all had to do. Because English is my second language, I am always a little nervous that I would not understand something, but all went well.

I got my boarding passes and waited for the flight like always. I did not have coffee or breakfast before I left home or at the terminal because we are always served coffee when the plane is in the air. 

When we entered the aircraft, there were also a new set of rules on how to enter and move in the aircraft. I understood what I had to do by again following the other passengers.

Just after the plane took off and we were in the air, the announcement was made that no food was allowed in the plane because we had to keep our masks on. I craved my coffee but told myself that I would survive the ordeal without coffee or breakfast since I woke up three hours ago.

When we landed in Johannesburg, we again had to leave the aircraft in a certain new way.

For the first time, I also had to catch an Uber to get to the hotel where the conference was held. We don’t even have an Uber in Bloemfontein, where I live. I managed, and when I reached the hotel, the people at reception told me on which floor the conference was held.

Outside the conference hall, there was coffee and small wraps to eat, and after nearly four hours without anything over my lips, I was so happy.

After my very light breakfast, I felt ready for my presentation.

I entered the hall, and everyone was very happy to see me. I gave them my stick with my PowerPoint, and a while later, the floor was mine.

The people showed a lot of appreciation after my speech and bought some of the books that I have written, which I also carried with me.

After the conference finished later that afternoon, I returned to the drop off at the airport building on my own, and I reached my home town when it was already dark.

That night when I got into my bed, I thanked the Lord for a wonderful day in which I could travel like always without help."