Well, the timing couldn’t be worse. Having booked our “take our father’s ashes back to Africa” trip about a year ago I hadn’t anticipated that my son would be changing schools and that really I should be around for his first week. I am feeling very, very bad about it – I will be here when he gets back from his first day of school and then I am heading off to the airport tonight to meet up with my two brothers. Thankfully my mother and two older children will be here and his father is going to see lots of him too, so hopefully he won’t miss me too much!
I can’t quite believe it is actually happening. Back to Zambia. Here was one of my posts about setting off with my father a few years ago – complete with a photo of me and my brother last time we were in Africa together http://www.familyaffairsandothermatters.com/back-to-africa/
It will be strange doing it without my father sitting next to me on the plane again. It was only three years ago that we were together in Zambia. I distinctly remember him saying to me on the plane when I was having a trauma about my divorce and not being away with my children that all he wanted for his children “was that you all live interesting lives” – he wasn’t always that enamoured with the concept of “being happy”, “secure” or whatever else we thought we were all striving for at any one time – merely that we should aim to constantly strive for new challenges and to keep on travelling.
He certainly gave us all an interesting childhood – Africa first and then Hong Kong…and thanks to him, even in death he’s giving us the means to do something fairly unusual. Requesting that his ashes get taken by the three of us to the Victoria Falls, where he had such fond memories as a child has created a rare opportunity to spend time with my two brothers. Not typical these days to spend quality time together at our age – everyone tends to move on, grow up, find partners, have children and only spend time together in groups……so this is going to be a very special time for us (as long as we don’t drink too much and forget most of it!! ESPECIALLY as the BIG rule is drink LOTS of gin & tonic to keep Malaria at bay – quinine you know.
The last time I was in Zambia I was hugely affected by Africa and wrote lots on our journey. For example – this one: strange to be back. We are going to different places this time – I am looking forward to reporting back – not sure how much I will be able to do from there – certainly I won’t be able to upload photographs…..so we’ll see. Perhaps you can look forward to some radio silence for a minute. We are spending a few days in Livingstone and then flying to Chongwe for a few days on safari and my brothers are going Tiger Fishing – apparently ’tis the season.
I think I’m going to give my children the same request when I die but perhaps I’ll make it a little bit more complicated – a sprinkling here, a sprinkling there – top of a mountain, bottom of the sea, furthest field, iceberg. Oh the places they could go with a little bit of me in their pocket.
Or perhaps that’s a bit weird. Maybe better to do all that whilst I can still sit next to them fully formed – but judging my youngest son’s reaction to his first day of school and not wanting me to take him then perhaps that is not an option either….
Right, so full circle back to the adult gap year!