So how does one introduce oneself to a Prime Minister? That was what I was mulling over as I was on the aiport bus back to the terminal, but first let me start at the beginning.
As the airport bus drove us to the plane to bring us from Johannesburg to Maseru (Lesotho), the rain started to crash down. In Ireland we can get quite a lot of it however rarely with the ferocity with which it comes down over here. As we were about to board the plane, a car pulls up and someone holds out an umbrella for the VIP. The whispers on the bus was that it was the Lesotho PM. The last of the 14 passengers boarded and we taxied to the runway to depart however the rain and storms delayed this. Eventually we had to taxi back where we were informed the flight had been cancelled due to problems with the airport in Maseru. Jokingly, I turned to the gentleman beside me and told him I might have to have a few words with the PM which was met with a blank look. It turns out he was the Minister for Finance! Also on board was the Minister for Foreign Affairs.
Never one to let an opportunity pass, on the bus back to the terminal I sidled up with the meek line ‘are you the Prime Minister sir?’ to which I got a concerned response. I introduced myself and Camara and asked of his Minister for Tourism who was the Ambassador for Ireland and previously sat on the board of Camara Education. With this common contact he warmed and we chatted for a few minutes and thanked Camara for its work. When we reached the terminal, two cars turned up to take the party direct to Maseru, while the rest of us passengers were thrown on the streets of Johannesburg to fend for ourselves!
The following day at dawn the remaining 8 passengers took off and made it to Maseru. Where onward we were taken to our hub in Leribe having the opportunity to view the geogeous countryside of Lesotho en route. The pilot informed us on landing that the storms were so bad in Johannesburg that an aiport engineer was struck by lightnening and also that the reason there was a ‘problem’ in Maseru was that the runway lights were stolen!