If Namibia, metaphorically speaking, was the frying pan, what with its 40 degree temperatures, desert elephants and the extraordinary vistas of Etosha, then returning to still-grey and chilly Toronto has been a leap, or spill, into the metaphorical fire.
We just haven’t stopped, since landing at Pearson.
It started with two mailboxes: our physical mailbox, which contained, when we wearily prised open our front door after 30 hours in transit, a missive from Citizenship and Immigration, inviting me to attend a citizenship swearing-in ceremony on May 17th.
Quite the welcome home, I’d say. Talk about rolling out the red carpet.
Waiting for me in the other mailbox, my email inbox, was a string of messages, pertaining to a possible contract in – you guessed it – the place we had just come from, South Africa. The flurry of emails and conference calls since then has all trended in one direction: the possibility of more work back home, and more travel. There will be news releases as things (we hope) become more definite.
Meanwhile Rob has gone back to work, and we have (finally) finished our unpacking. Though there are memories still to unpack, plenty of them, and over two thousand photos, some of which will find their way into this blog in the coming days and weeks and (given the quantity) months if necessary.
For now, here is the heads-up: our holiday was fab, and we have returned home safely, albeit minus our iPhones, two small cameras and my iPad, which were stolen in Namibia. Just stuff, as Rob says, though we do mourn the loss of some of our photos. Most of our pictures, fortunately, were taken on my Nikon, which was not stolen, perhaps because it is so big and clunky and hard to move as hot property.
Jonathan and Hayley’s wedding was simply wonderful: not just perfect, as all weddings should be, but an occasion of such heartfelt happiness and joy that the heart is still singing with it. There will be photos to share, you can be sure.
Etosha, interestingly enough, was something of a mixed bag – the views have been mentioned already, and we saw plenty of animals, including huge herds, on a scale we’ve never seen before, of zebra, springbok, wildebeest and oryx; but the Namibia Wildlife Resorts accommodation was overpriced and inadequately maintained, the food was pretty dreadful, and – with some individual exceptions – the staff were about as cheerful and accommodating as North Korean border guards. High time for a shake-up.
The private lodges we stayed in, on the other hand, in the area around Twyfelfontein, were simply fantastic, and the experiences we had there, including a morning with the desert-adapted elephants, were almost spiritual.
Again, there will be photos.
And, of course, seeing my mom, visiting Hermanus, going the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town, were all wonderful too – so much so that by the time we got back to Toronto we had completely forgotten about work, and domesticity, and everyday living.
All of which, as I said at the beginning, came roaring back, the moment we arrived on our doorstep.