Wednesday, October 22, 2008


I can't believe it's been nearly two months since we were in Botswana. Our summer in Southern Africa seems like years ago. I started this blog to catch everyone up on our return to Botswana, but with all that happened and is happening now, I just can't get it all down, and as a result, the blog goes without. . .I will try to write more often, particularly since I live, breath, and do things only in the name of Women's Work.

Let me start off from the beginning.

June 29, 2008 - South Africa

We wanted to save some money, so instead of paying the $300 more person to fly into Botswana, we landed in Johannesburg, South Africa. Our friend Tony was taking care of (trying to sell) our Land Rover, with no luck. Peter thought this was a blessing since we would need it...first of many things that didn't go our way.

So, we're at the airport trying to find out where our ride is and having a tough time getting any answers since our cell phones don't work in South Africa. There are actually telephone shops in the airport, not shops that sell phones, but telecoms where you can make phone calls but not on a payphone...something we don't have here. Anyway, unable to get a call out, Peter spent a lot of time trying to figure out what to do. The woman working in the shop felt badly for Peter. She even let him use her personal cell phone since we couldn't get through to Botswana on the regular phone. When we did finally get a hold of our friend, she even gave him her personal cell phone number and took messages for us. . . ah, the kindness of strangers.

Turns out, the Land Rover had broken down two hours away. Tony's girlfriend and a driver were worried that a car with Botswana plates broken down on the side of the road would be a target for car jackers. They couldn't get cellphone coverage to call for help or to call Tony and waited by the car afraid for their horrible for them!

We would not know any of this for hours. But when word finally got to us, we had to spend what we thought would only be one night in Jo'berg. Our new friend, the telephone salesperson finally called someone she knew who had a Bed and Breakfast.

We were on our way to a quiet charming bungalow. Macallan and I went first - Nepal, the B&B owner (from Nepal, thus the nickname) could only fit the two of us and some of our oversized luggage in his station wagon. Reassuring Peter that we'd be safe with him (afterall it was Jo'berg), we were welcomed to the B&B by the other guests, who helped us carry our bags. We were so tired, we actually slept in. It's cold because it's winter in Africa, so we bundled up in the blankets and fell right to sleep.

When I awoke, I found an amazing sight. With Macallan and Markham reluctant to leave their friends for the summer, this trip started off on a sour note. It didn't help that we were stranded...but this would make up for it all. There, propped up against the sliding glass doors to our room were two small dogs lying in the sun.

I had to wake Macallan, I just couldn't wait for her to see. We returned to Africa and were welcomed back by the very reason we left. The straw that broke the camel's back for us was our neighbor shooting our dogs. Feeling unsafe, we packed up and headed to the States, none of us saying proper good byes to the country we had called home. Now, returning for the first time, a dog that looked just like Macallan's dog Otse waited for us to awake. I cried watching Macallan being greeted by this dog, licking, whining, tag-a-wagging. The Land Rover broken down, us having to "make a plan" as they say in Africa, strangers to our rescue, and animals, animals, animals, all par for the course for Durkins' course in Africa.

We were home.

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