The week I flew home as my mom was admitted to hospital with a heart attack. But also the week where I saw again great things on the Chobe river in Botswana, had a snack in Dubai and celebrated St Nikolaas in the Netherlands. And not to forget…. watched in amazement how Trump got elected.

Monday it was time to leave the Okavango Delta. We were a bit in a hurry as this is a day with 2 border crossings.
Have I ever showed this one before? Who wants to bring toilet water anyway??? 😉the-blue-wanderer-2

For lunch we stopped next to the road. And there are only a few trees to choose from.
In general you are lucky if you see a good picnic tree (=some shade) once an hour. Unfortunately there was a dead animal lying around somewhere so lunch came with a smell.the-blue-wanderer-2

On Tuesday I was in Kasane. These were the neighbours. Banded mongoosethe-blue-wanderer-2This was a day of running around and an afternoon river safari in Chobe.the-blue-wanderer-2

Open billed stork with a water mussel
the-blue-wanderer-2Check the baby
the-blue-wanderer-2Blue waxbills!the-blue-wanderer-2

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On Wednesday we are heading to Zimbabwe.
And there we are…. Standing at the border to get into a country with a dictator…and look at a television screen in total amazement… as we watch Donald Trump being elected to be the next president of the USA. The disbelieve in this little border post office is of the scale

We drive to Victoria falls where we drop the luggage in the hotel and the guests at the waterfall.
Somewhere during the day I receive a text message from my mum. She had a heart attack and is in hospital. I call my insurance company and they start arranging my flight back home. I call my boss to tell him that I will leave the tour a day early and how I think of arranging that. Both Stephen and Cardi are taking over some of my tasks.

I go out for dinner with Cardi and part of her group. I did not feel like eating on my own.

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When I return to the hotel I get the flights for tomorrow confirmed.
Now I have to finish my finances and pack my bag. So it is 3.30 when I am done.

Thursday: After just a few hours of sleep I inform my group that I am leaving. I give Stephen all instructions he needs and I give my finances etc to Cardi who will make sure it gets to the office.

At 11.00 I am on my way to Victoria falls airport. Ofcourse my the flight is delayed. And so is the next one…and the next one. The first two had to do with heavy thunderstorms in Johannesburg. Always nice!

They are already in Christmas spirit at the airport. the-blue-wanderer-2

Dubai airport. Could not help but have a view nice local snacks here….yumyum

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Friday I arrive in the Netherlands around noon. My insurance company arranged a taxi to bring me to the hospital.
People look at me when I walk into the hospital with my backpack on. But who cares. When I find my mums room I am pretty surprised, not to say shocked to see the nurse almost running to me with the words: “are you the daughter? You can take her home now!”
What?!
I have not even properly asked how she is doing!
But I soon learn it is Friday late afternoon and they try to clear beds as soon as possible. But I have nowhere to take her nor a vehicle. This sucks.
Thankfully J. comes to the rescue and collects us from the hospital.the-blue-wanderer-2

He takes us to my mums home. Where I run to the supermarket to buy some food. So there we are. Mum on the couch.
I saw the pictures and it was a mayor heart attack. But she was in the hospital in time so they went in and cleared the blockage and put a stent in. So she is fine now but weak of course. She is not allowed to do anything for the next month. no lifting thing, no cycling, no cleaning of the house.

Anyway. I am dead tired after the long travel and as it has been a long time since I slept I crash on her couch even before she falls a sleep.

Saturday morning I cook some meals for the next few days. After lunch I go to J’s house. I need to do laundry and find my winter clothing. My summer outfits are not working in this weather. I don’t even have a coat.

First I pass by the caravan to see what it looks like. How moist is it? How cold? Why did I leave summer clothing there (what was I thinking). My dear friend M has put some food in the fridge, turned the water and gas back on and left me some flowers. Isn’t she the best friend ever!!

I struggle with the geyser for a bit and give up. It is cold in the caravan and I put on all heaters. But after almost 2 hours there the temperature has only gone up with about 10 degrees. Making it still only 12

On my way to J’s house I go shopping for another heater and an electrical blanket.

J. is not home this weekend so I take advantage of that. I start the laundry straight away. I don’t know why and it might sound very stupid but for me it is the best part of coming home. I only feel that I have arrived back once my first load is in the machine ( call me crazy). the-blue-wanderer-2

And then I spend some time with two cats who pretend that they have missed me.the-blue-wanderer-2

In the evening I pop by M to thank her for her good care of the caravan and to bring a little gift for her 4 year old helper.
Saint Nicolaas is in the country so this is the time of the year where the children sing a song, put there shoe next to the fireplace (or radiator) and make sure there is something to eat and drink for the horse of the saint. Then at some point during the night the saint and his horse will go from rooftop to rooftop and drop little present down the chimney that magically fall, without a trace of ash, in the shoe of the child. Isn’t it magic?the-blue-wanderer-2the-blue-wanderer-2

Sunday I try to sleep in but it doesn’t work. I open my mail and learn that my cc is about to be blocked. Fuck. Why?
According to the paper I should have taken some sort of action before last Friday.

There is a pile of mails about my upcoming cruise so I slowly start working my way through it. And I can tell you it is not easy to switch from African safari only 2 days ago to Christmas cruise preparations.

In the afternoon I go shopping for a bit. There is a cruise coming up and that means you have to look sophisticated. And all my sweaters and other winter stuff is old, warn and very fleece like. I buy 3 fancy sweaters and hope that that will do.

Next week: lots and lots of cruise stuff and caravan struggles

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