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40 days and 40 nights and no rain

Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Jul 14
7:13
AM ET

Posted by Paul Grant

JOHANNESBURG -- I'd never spent 40 consecutive days anywhere other than my home. So after spending more than a month in South Africa -- all in the same hotel room -- I thought it would be fun to count what I went through.

My visit, by the numbers:

7,915 -- direct miles from Hartford, Conn., to Johannesburg

56 -- bus/van trips between my hotel and the International Broadcast Centre, near Soccer City

1,288 -- total miles traveled on those trips

27 -- average number of minutes spent on the bus/van each way

25 -- total hours spent on the bus/van

23 -- bad meals consumed in the IBC

2 -- rats seen at the IBC

6 -- personal-high number of chocolate bars consumed in one day at the IBC

1 -- mopane worms consumed with a tangy tomato sauce while dining in Johannesburg

1 -- bull elephant in heat that stared me down while on safari

13 -- fake elephants I saw at the closing ceremonies

0 -- raindrops I saw over the 40 days and 40 nights

15 -- miniature bottles of shampoo I went through in my hotel room (not all were empty when collected by housekeeping)

1 -- entire tubes of toothpaste used

16 -- disk-shaped mini-soap I went through (or were those urinal pucks?)

9 -- partial movies I watched in my hotel room

5 -- partial movies I watched in my hotel room of which I still don't know the titles

210 -- estimated number of stories and blogs edited

14 -- consecutive times correctly spelling "Leander Schaerlaeckens"

23 -- times I heard "Wavin' Flag" by K'naan

22 -- times I enjoyed hearing "Wavin' Flag" by K'naan

2 -- bags of smoked-meat-flavored potato chips consumed

7 -- postcards sent

31 -- virtual postcards sent (yes, transparent reference)

14 -- letters sent to my wife

1 -- letters received by my wife

12 -- partial or full loads of laundry done

1 -- times Nelson Mandela and I were in the same stadium

countless -- times I felt fortunate just to be a part of it all

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