I‘ve sat since dawn staring out of the planes window, looking at the parched earth below, the stark nothingness and dry river beds. As we travel further south things improve , I can see settlements, towns and roads. Farms, pock marked by circular irrigation systems, some familiar sights. I just love watching the surface of the earth from a plane, no matter the time of day. It makes me think of geography class in school, studying aerial maps with a stereoscope and being so blown away with the 3D views and technology.
I hear the announcement to buckle up as we get ready to descend. The sky outside is mostly clear, a few clouds hang suspended in mid air like floating white candy floss, and I can almost smell the earth, and feel the heat of the sun on my skin. As the plane heads in to land, from nowhere the tears well up, my throat constricts with emotion, I don’t trust myself to speak. I try to keep staring out of the window so that G doesn’t see my tears, but its not long before my nose is streaming, and a river of tears run down my face. He takes my hand and just holds it gently while I find a tissue. The emotion is overwhelming, after 16 years I have arrived, I am home. South Africa, this is where I was born. Although I have lived in England these past years, I have never felt truly homesick. I told myself I was to busy building a new life, to busy trying to survive . But now ,at this moment, this is all I want, and where I need to be – in Africa. Is it 16 years already? why did I wait so long?
From the moment I met G, I wanted to bring him to Africa , to show him where I come from, where I went to school, so after saving and planning here we are. I have planned an epic road trip for us, starting in Johannesburg, then north to Polokwane, over the mountains to Tzaneen , through to Phalaborwa, into the Kruger National Park for a few days, and then a long trek south through the Lowveld, and down from the escarpment to Durban. Besides our road trip, I’m visiting close family and friends whom I haven’t seen in years. Just the thought makes for fresh tears.