Mist covered the mountain as we descended to Makhado: Beccy’s last drive down the red roads and we sat teary-eyed and sniffling in the back seat. Asking Ben to play something happy, his ipod on shuffle mode chose the appropriate song, “I’m not Crying” by FTC. Giggles with tears–I couldn’t grasp onto either emotion long enough to decipher what I was feeling. The rest of the drive continued with singing Lion King songs, rock ballads (out of tune of course) and a refusal to play the overplayed “Lucky”–our song– (Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat) less we start crying all over.
In town, saying our last goodbyes, a group of school-age Makhado-ians asked if we were tourists. Explaining that we weren’t really, they asked where we were from. America, Germany, UK and the Netherlands.
“Can we touch you?! Oh my god! Wow!”
Lots of handshaking and feeling like a celebrity diminished the sad moment.
Beccy’s last week involved impromptu walks down the Lajuma roads to Bergplaatz, the Ribbok trail covered in mist, swimming, food experiments and a party!
For her going away, The Barn creativity ran at it’s peak as we created a twister game taped to the floor. While waiting for the chocolate cake, chocolate cookies and banana muffins to cool, we went for a wade in the rock pools with our tire tubes. Later that night, tequila shots with handpicked lemons were passed out until someone got a wedge with a worm in it. Next day photos and videos produced crying laughter as we tried to decipher what we were singing so loudly at 2 AM.
“Oh… I think that’s the Circle of Life.”
Hmm… sounded better last night.
For her last day, with the Dutch couple Anja and Demis, we hiked the Ribbok trail. With no scorching heat, the walk was quite pleasant. And despite the thick mists and wind that obstructed any gorgeous views, it created an air of mystery that made it all the more fun. For dinner, we reheated our homemade pizza made from scratch without measuring and recipes–so good! Unfortunately the homemade ice cream didn’t freeze properly but we had some chocolate mousse instead.
The night ended with a card game played by all Barn members and a replay of our Circle of Life rendition with oh-my-god-my-stomach-hurts-I-can’t-breathe-going-to-pee-myself-crying-laughter once again and Beccy and I singing our song (for the millionth time) “Lucky” to the chagrin of Ben.
As I take over her Samango group this week and finally start following monkeys two months later, I’m sure they will miss her as much as me.