My Departure

Routing: IAD-AMS-CPT
9,864 miles

Hello Everyone and welcome to my special blog where I plan to share highlights from my trip to South Africa! My name is Glenda, I am legally blind, and I am a proud low vision ambassador.  With the help of my newly designed custom telescope and microscope glasses from Low Vision Specialists of MD & VA, I am now able to live life to the fullest. I will be sharing my experiences with you, telling you what it is like to travel with the benefit of my special glasses and my overall improved vision. To say the least, it has opened a brave new world, expanding and enhancing my limited vision. The long flight to South Africa (via Amsterdam) was a very different experience now that I have these advanced glasses, easier in so many different ways. I look forward to sharing my trip details with you and expressing what it’s like to have my life back. Stay tuned!

Glenda settling into her cozy seat
on-board a brand new KLM 787-9

My In-Flight
Low Vision Experience

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines
Aircraft: B787-9 & B777-300ER

Flying with these low vision glasses was a wonderful experience. Before even boarding the plane, my experience in the airport was significantly improved. I was able to see where I was going throughout the terminal and find my way with much more confidence than before I had the glasses.

In flight, was much easier. I could relax and watch a movie without having to sit an inch or two away from the screen and I used the handheld entertainment controller which had a touchscreen. Using these low vision glasses was amazing. I can safely say my flying experience was improved around 80% solely due to the glasses.

Cape Town,
South Africa | Day 1

Today we spent time with family. We visited a farm on the mountainside facing the ocean. Being able to see the nature around me has been amazing. The difference the glasses have made is incredible. I’m able to see boats in the distance, animals in the brush, and enjoy the beautiful nature around me. The glasses refreshed my view of the land and the kind people that work there. Later in the day, I took a drive with my grandson to the store and was able to see the waves on the water as we drove by the ocean. The detail I can see is incredible to me – –
all because of these glasses.

Cape Town,
South Africa | Day 2

Today was another relaxing day with the family. I had so much fun with my grandchildren. We played games like Simon Says and I was dubbed “Queen of the Twirlers!” Hearing their little voices switch between languages (Afrikaans and English) was incredible to hear. What made it even more enjoyable was the fact that wearing these glasses allowed me to play with them and see their interactions, their expressions.

South Africa has some yummy foods too! I enjoyed Litchee (Lychee, pronounced lee-chee) fruit which is a grape-like fruit with a spiky peel and a hard pit. We made a Potjie
(pronounced poi-kee) which is a cast iron pot dish that simmers for hours over hot coals by a fire. I was able to sit and enjoy watching the crackling of the logs and the flames dance next to our delicious stew. I can already see how the quality of my trip here has improved just from
being able to see better.

Cape Town,
South Africa | Day 3

We visited the town Hermanus today where we walked along the port. My “Minion” telescopic glasses made a huge impact because they transition from clear to tinted in the sun. South Africa is a sunny place most of the time so having that feature is greatly improving my experience. I wasn’t blinded by the sun! We had breakfast at a place called Coco’s and I was able to peruse the menu with ease using my reading glasses. After breakfast we returned home for an early afternoon nap. My glasses have improved how I am able to read menus and it is fantastic. We went to dinner at The Great White, a seafood grill and bar in Kleinbaai – aka Shark Alley. The glasses made it easy for me to take photos of the flower centerpieces, the whale bones hanging from the ceiling, and my grandchildren on the other end of the table. Once again I could easily read the menu and ordered the fried hake and calamari with chips – you’ll know them as fries, yum!

Cape Town,
South Africa | Day 4

Grocery shopping at Spar (our local grocery store) was much easier wearing my glasses. I was able to find the ingredients I needed to prepare dinner and was blown away by how I could see the items on the shelves. These glasses helped me get what I needed quickly because I didn’t have to spend so much time trying to read the labels on food items. Not only was I able to see the ingredients at the store much more clearly, but I was able to go home and cook dinner for everyone – that was a huge feat. When I didn’t have these glasses it my low vision took away my ability to do things such as cook because it was so difficult to see. Now, I can make spaghetti bolognese without any problem because I can see what I am doing.

It’s truly a blessing, because things like cooking for my family have always been important to me.

Cape Town,
South Africa | Day 5

Here in Gansbaai there is a penguin sanctuary that I love to visit. They rescue penguins and rehabilitate them before releasing them back into the wild. Today I had an opportunity to see the penguins again and got some photos of the cute little birds!

Afterward, we went to lunch at Ou Meul Bakkery – a cafe in town. This outing showed me that I was able to use my glasses to see all of the homemade crafts, wines, and biscuits (cookies) they had available. I was able to refrain from buying anything because I could actually see the price!! My husband was happy. 🙂

On the way back home, my stepson spotted a wild cat on the side of the road and rather than searching and searching for what he saw, I was able to quickly see the cat using my “Minion” glasses! Keep in mind that the sides of the road in South Africa are dusty and generally monochromatic colors of beige and green, so this is a big deal!

Back at the house I decided to try using my computer glasses to spend some time coloring on my iPad. Wow! The difference these glasses made is incredible! Later on, my daughter and I had fun together simply watching YouTube videos. It might not seem like much, but being able to do something as simple as watch a video to enjoy a laugh makes such a big difference in the quality of the time I spend with my family.

Cape Town,
South Africa | Day 6

We had a lovely day in Hermanus, South Africa.  We enjoyed an incredible lunch at Bientang Caves Resturant.  I truly appreciated my distance glasses as I was able to walk the pathway and “very steep” stairs with confidence.  My glasses also transition and protect my eyes from the sun.  I was able to see small animals called “Rock Dassie” and the water fowl were such poetry in motion on the winds and waves.  Amazing!

Cape Town,
South Africa |
Day 7 & 8

Today we strolled leisurely around our home enjoying all of God’s wonderful beauty.  I could never confidently do this before my awesome new glasses.  I was also able to watch my grandchildren at their riding lessons.  WOW!  How much I have have missed.

We relaxed at home watching the ocean.  With my long distance telescope glasses, I was able to view a research vessel off Dyre Island. Later on we visited this lovely resort.  Bella Vista.  Here, I was able see and video the spectacular view as well as my family, using my distance glasses.  How truly blessed I am!

WOW!  I can see everything on the shelves again!!  I am so thrilled to be able to shop again with full confidence.  Not only can I see the items in the store, but I have much less fear if separated from my family.  This fear happened so frequently before getting my low vision glasses.  I’m amazed how these glasses are truly improving my quality of life!!

Hermanus,
South Africa |Day 9

Today was absolutely amazing! My husband and I spent several hours in Hermanus, South Africa. I was able to see the beauty as I had never seen it before! I have been coming to Hermanus for over 7 years. However, I could not truly appreciate all there was to see here until this trip! My new glasses made this possible! I can now, read all the literature and signage!

To be able to read the information myself, not have it read to; was nearly euphoric!!

The day was epic on so many levels!!