I watched the world fly by through the window of Eddie’s land cruiser now. I was headed south, re-tracing my steps back to South Africa, and eventually home. Today’s stop was in Karonga, Malawi where we picked up supplies. Eddie and John went shopping, while the other John and Catherine got out to stretch their legs and browse around Karonga. I stayed back in the land cruiser to scribble a few words in my journal and process where I was at. As there was no money in my wallet to spend anyway, it made more sense to stay put and hence keep out of trouble.
Gladly, trouble seemed to be skirting my world for the moment. Neale was long gone and Nimesh was a friend that I could hold in my heart, if not close enough to offer a personal hug in my arms. I reflected on the other friends that I had met on my journey. Dear Brett had been an excellent travelling companion, bar none. Miki had been the surprise ghost from my past, that had set me off on a path of adventure that I surely would not have stumbled upon on my own. The family that I was lucky to have been rekindled with had filled me full of a heart-song that I had never known and would cherish the rest of my days. There were many others too, like Ian, my erstwhile man in Harare, Stuart and Rob, my house mates in Lamu, Oliver and Taro, other faces that graced us with their presence in our van Arnie. The list went on and on. As I sat alone in the land cruiser though, I felt slightly hollow realizing that it was all coming to a close. While I might yet get a chance to see Max, Keith and Ndaba in Victoria Falls when I arrived, I just as easily might not. At this rate, who was to know?
All I knew for certain, was that I was very lucky to have picked up the ride with Eddie at the helm of his “Tusker” fleet. He came to me at a point when I needed a sign. His offer was surely the most glaring sign I could have asked for. When I was not sure which way to go, he gently led me to the path home. And at that moment, when I looked up and saw him ambling towards the land cruiser, I knew that it was meant to be. In a week’s time, 1500 kilometers would pass under the vehicle's wheels. That was a lot of time to think about the days past and the days to come, but for now I scrambled to offer whatever help I could before we hit the road again. Repacking done, I wedged my growing backside back into the seat and picked up my view out the window again. Livingstone, ho!