After years of running away from our obligations, as a familly, to get together once in a while, we had to force ourselves to move to the country that is among the furtherestest away from african organization (not Singapour, not Germany, not Sweden, not Switzerland, even if they are strong competitors): Australia. Louise's brothers have the immense priviledge of living in Perth, so there we went. We cleaned our shoes, checked all our pockets for extra unwanted seeds and pods and boarded. the trip was relatively short: Beira-Harare (9h by road), Harare-Joburg (12 hours) and joburg-Perth (11 hours by plane). Louise was 7 months pregnant when we left, way past 8 when we came back.
Oh, and for her and the kids it was also their final departure from Beira.
The interesting thing about driving in zim, is that police officers are always helping you to discover hidden paragraphs of the road code. And after them informing you of the expiry date of the fire extinguisher, the no mixing kids with merchandise and the strap the granny in the backseat laws, they are very keen to show empathy and risk their job, waving the strict fine and obligation to send you to the police office for the next 10 hours for a smaller fee of 20 usd and safe journey wishes. In Mozambique we always could talk ourselves out, but this is harder with a mozambican number plate, a car full, at 4 am in Zim, police officers just know that they have more time than you.
So we strapped pat, put the kids inside the suitcases and rewrote the expiery date for the fire extinguisher, then we went.
Smooth drive until Beitbridge border, as usual notoriousely terrible border on the South African side, my friend Lianne shared some of her experience in her blog http://africafarandwide.wordpress.com/
then the car started to heat up quite badly, so we had to drive extra carefully for the last 100 km, which is always the best time, after having spend 13 hours in a car, with 4 adults (my inlaws will never accept to be refered as seniors) and 3 kids. .
then at the plane luggage control, a zealous security officer wanted to keep my 50 ml nivea deo for men, because it was not put in a transparent zip-lock bag. how anal. So I asked people that went through the security before me if anyone could lend me his ziplockbag, so I could hope not to stink too much in the plane. People cling to their ziplock bags more than to their underwears it seems and I was not getting many positive responses, until a charming liberal lady, stood up, faced possible persecutions and handled me not one but two ziplock bags. One blue zip and the other purple. I asked the security to choose which one he prefered for my deo, he choosed the purple, I argued that the blue would suit the deo better because blue is for boys and the deo is for men. Then again. He wished me a safe journey. Humans in uniforms, positionned to implement things they have no ideas about are always miracle makers.
Wa and kate have build their house alone and it is awesome. because they were stuck with the difficult bits, they were really overjoyed to see us coming to help them putting rails for the curtains, building storage space and screwing handles for the cupboard. We really felt like we made a change.
trance and rodders were enjoying, kids were annoyed not to have access to the computer to play minecraft or to play gangam style and dance, and the rest of the adults were seeking refuge in the garden, sipping beer and burning meat.
The 8 kids. missing from the picture is Elena, born a month and a half later.
https://littlecreatures.com.au/ ) is a really good address for tasty beer (their pale ale is flowing smooth), even if it looks more like a beer-factory than a brewery, the taste is great. And, they dish food faster than at Nando's, which is the equivalent of speedy gonzales in restaurant terms for Mozambique. In moz, when you eat out, once you get to understand what is available from the menu, eather you have good company, or a book, or something to do, for every restaurant tries to have you empty the bar before they will serve you something. At little creature, you order from one girl, and a guy comes from behind her to dish you. Impressive, but with a feeling that we are not wanted, that is what expecting to wait for hours does to your expectations, once it is too fast, you feel like you are missing the fact that you actually eat out.
So the kids were trilled to see the animals. unfortunatly the first night, clever echidna disappeared from the box we put him in. And probably jumped from the terrasse for greener pastures.
The blue tongue stayed with us for a few days, being rather tame and enjoying the food. then he as well took the big leap.
So the last 3 times we took the plane as a familly, the first time to go to belgium, louise was unable to travel the same day, the second time when we flew to Chicago, we did so with a 40° deliriousely ill Naomi, and from Perth, we only had a pulled elbow. Cannot wait for the next trip en famille. Normally in august this year. I shall not disclose to where nor when, its bad karma.