South African Airways & OR Tambo Steal My Soccer Kit

29 July

Unpacking my suitcase was something I put off for a few hours on my return, but as I started to do so, I threw much of my clothes in a pile to wash, and proceeded to unwrap the souvenirs. I usually have quite success when packing, having been raised traveling and moving all over Europe, and our two months of moving around Southern Africa didn’t result in any major damage to anything, save Alisa’s MacBook Pro picking up a dent on the corner (she of course blames me as I was usually the one carrying it, but an impact that strong would’ve been one that I noticed, so it was likely someone/thing running into me/the bag). However, our luck wasn’t to hold on the return journey. Alisa’ wooden candle votive from Vilanculos, Mozambique had a piece of it’s star-shaped holder broken, and my stone bird from Zambia had it’s head broken off, it’s tree stand spit in half, and its nose smashed. Quite disappointing considering how far it came. I also made a mistake and thought it was wrapped by itself, when it was actually wrapped with one of Alisa’s wooden Zambian bowls. The votive can easily be repaired, the bird… major surgery will be needed, but his nose is likely unfixable.

Alisa had written that she had arrived in Kenya without much trouble, so now we all have to sit patiently till she finds internet access or buys a SIM card and gets some data. Continue reading

Out of South Africa

June 28/29

We were awoke this morning just before Mandla came into Elna’s room to tell us goodbye before he went to school. He had been peppering us “Are you leaving now?” all last night, and now that the time had finally come, he seemed very nonchalant about saying goodbye. He came in to tells us that his mother was letting him take his soccer ball to school and that they had to write his name on it. This seemed to be the drama of the moment, and either covered up his feelings about goodbye, or he’s just too young to have them anyways. He didn’t even give a hug while we sat in bed listening to him, he just promptly walked out at the end of the telling of the story.

It will be quite interesting to see where Mandla is when we do return to South Africa in the future. Elna fears that his parents may take him back to Zimbabwe, where he’ll herd cattle, or that because of his education and life in South Africa (where he was born), his older brother and sister will come to resent him for being the ‘spoiled’ child while they remain in Zimbabwe. Continue reading