After our short holiday at Cape Vidal, I'd arranged for us to have a reunion with our friends and to spend the night in Monzi.
Before we actually met up with the friends, we drove through the area. Although it was very much the same, the bush and trees had increased and made the place feel much smaller than I remembered. Of course, the whole place was fenced in with gate guards who gave you a book to sign in before they lifted the boom to allow you in.
I specifically wanted to visit the house where John and Angus grew up. If possible I was going to ask the people living there if I could "take a look around" Mmm. When we drove up our old driveway, we were met by huge razor wire fences AND a large, vicious-looking dog. I took a couple of photos and we left without me even getting a proper look-in at our "old" house.
Angus recognized the tank on which he and the neighbor's children played. In real life, the dog looked much more vicious than he does on this photo!
I managed to zoom in on our house which had changed quite considerably. The corner which is visible on the left of the photo, were the three large bedrooms Here it looks like a patio had been built onto that part
On the way out, I photographed the entrance to the company offices and workshop where Grant worked
We drove down to the bridge over the Mfolozi River. I wanted to take photos of the river and the sugarcane flats (fields) which had been swept up 30 years ago by Cyclone Demoina. Today there isn't any sign of the utter devastation that had hit the area in 1984. Of course we were living there just meters above the river the day it happened. And yes, I've written a story about Demoina (with which I won an honorable mention in a Writers' Digest competition a few years ago.) But that's another story!
The Mfolozi River below the house where we lived in the eighties. Today it's a peacefully flowing river ; nothing like the raging torrent which was 15 kms wide at this spot after Cyclone Demoina unleashed her wrath on it
Zulu workers walking through the fields of sugarcane on the Monzi flats
Another Zulu, a cane cutter, carrying his machete, walks up the main road towards the supply store
Finally we drove to my friend, Brenda's home where we'd booked her guest house to stay in overnight. While we waited for the men to return from a ten-day fishing trip in Northern Mozambique, we reminisced and caught up on all the news from yesteryear. Several ladies popped in at Brenda's to have tea and to see us. Brenda had arranged with the remainder of the our friends (who still lived in the area) to meet up at the golf club once the men had returned. This recreational spot had not changed much (perhaps it had been extended) since I last sat in it in the late eighties.
Soon the ladies arrived and we spent the whole evening chatting up a storm! These "girls" below had children the same age as Angus and some just a little younger than John. We ladies started the Monzi Play School which our little ones attended twice a week with two mothers supervising alternatively.
From left is Christine (who was the Monzi Librarian and "headmistress" of Monzi Play school) Brenda, whose two sons are in the same age group as Angus; Ruth, Brenda's sister-in-law who has children a little younger than Angus. (Of course, the other two are Rina and me!)
From right to left: Grant, Keith (Cathy came to meet us at Brenda's home that afternoon), Brian, Brenda's husband. In the blue checked shirt is Bernard, Ruth's husband and Brenda's younger brother; Paul in large black checked shirt, whose wife Karin couldn't make it that night but with whom we had a lovely chat the next morning; Roy, Christine's husband and Ronald, Brian and Brenda's oldest son
We had a good laugh about Grant was dying to meet up with acquaintances wherever we went that weekend. While we were in St Lucia, whenever a young man (who looked like young Ronald above) walked by, Grant would say "I'm sure that is so-and-so." (and he'd name someone he knew from that era) Eventually after the third time he said this, I said, "Darling, look in the mirror and you will see what so-and-so looks like now." And lo and behold, when he came face to face with each of the friends, they'd each look at the other and say: "Hey, but you're grey and you have skinny legs and a pot belly. Just like I have!" LOL!
The strange thing I've found when attending school reunions and later meeting up with adult friends, is that the women are a lot better preserved (for want of a word!) than the men. Do you find this as well?
There were two highlights on our break in South Africa; one was re-visiting Monzi and meeting up with our friends from the eighties. The other was the family reunion at our Marquard home the day before we flew back to Tanzania.
I am linking my post to Our World Tuesday hosted byArija Gattina Lady Fi Sylvia Sandy and Jennif . you can access the blog by clicking here