Saturday, January 31, 2015

It's over!

As Ambrose isn't near my laptop this afternoon, I'm writing his post for him. 

Although we never thought it would come, our idyllic sojourn in Tanzania in general and Mwadui in particular has ended. Although we knew that Grant's contract is only for three years, we imagined that the company would be able obtain the necessary work permits and documents to enable us to stay another two years. However, this was not to be. Grant flew to the company HO in Dar es Salaam on the 7th January to see if he could sort his permits out. After lunch he phoned me and said, "We're leaving Tanzania!" 

Now, although I would have loved to break down and weep, I did NOT. Instead, guess what I did first and foremost? 

I immediately phoned our pet travel agency in South Africa and asked them to put the wheels in motion to get our kitties home. Then I phoned Zahra of the Dar Es Salaam expediters with whom I did business in December 2013 (when I sent Rina's cats to SA) and asked her to arrange to get the cats out of EA. Next I phoned Siv, the PR at Coastal Aviation and provisionally booked a flight on the charter airlines. 

The cats are always very inquisitive when I bring their travel cages out of storage. Can you believe that they had their booster inoculations on the 6th of January? 

What followed then was two weeks and two days of intense concentration to arrange the paperwork, e-mails, telephone calls,  veterinary health certificates endorsed by the vet and scanned to the SA pet travel agency and the Dar expediters. Finally on Friday 23rd January every i was dotted and every t was crossed. All that remained was for me to confirm my flight on the charter plane with the cats as my luggage and get onto it! 
You have to experience this to believe how involved it is to get the cats moved from one country to another! 
The travel cages with cats inside, waiting to be loaded onto the 12 seater plane
The three cats in the luggage compartment of the small plane. From left: Ginger, Ambrose and Shadow

As I post this, all three the cats are in a friend's kennels near the Bloemfontein airport. Grant and I will pick them up on our way home tomorrow afternoon. More about their travels soon. 

Meanwhile, I'm catching up on blogger while on the hotel WiFi. We're sleeping overnight in Dar in a hotel overlooking the harbor. We fly home tomorrow. (I use the term "home" loosely here as it feels as if I've LEFT home in Mwadui! )

Please forgive me, everybody, for not letting on about our changed circumstances until now. I just had to knuckle down and get moving. Apart from the task of getting the cats out, I sold almost everything we owned in Mwadui. Since we knew we were leaving we attended one farewell after the other.

(And that was including the exciting weekend we had when the new trucks were commissioned! )

I'll post all about the emotions, heart-ache, laughter and tears as soon as we're all settled in back in Marquard. (Suffice to say, I broke down proper  this morning in the dark when I fondled Princess' ears and patted Nando to say goodbye!
Happy Saturday to you all.


  1. Who knew how much is involved in your move from one country to another! What a shock to you and to all the senses but you kept it all together for the love of your pets. Our good Lord knew beforehand that you would be moving on. I'm guessing that's why you now have such a beautiful library of videos and photos of your beloved dogs and pups left in Tanzania. The people farewells must have been equally heart wrenching. Big hugs for you my friend, and for Grant too. Soon you'll be on to new adventures. But take a moment to let it all out and breathe. xx

  2. I am so sorry to read this, i had not idea.. what about the dogs? what about princess and her puppies? on nooooo. i love those dogs. who will care for them..

  3. What a surprise! And what a mammoth task you were taking on with on letting on here on your blog. Prayers with you as you settled back home in SA.

  4. I am speechless ! That happened so quickly ! I still can't believe it, but I can imagine that your heart is bleeding ! What happens to the dogs ?

  5. Hello Jo, what a surprise.. I expect the farewell were very tearful. I wish you and Grant all the best in your new adventures.. I hope everyone arrives safely HOME..

  6. My heart aches for you, Jo!! And my thoughts will be with you in the coming weeks. Do take care!!

  7. I'm not sure whether to be happy or sad for you. I know you love all your homes, and pets. Welcome back to SA.

  8. i can't stand that you had to leave princess, nando and the pups! i know you are heartbroken. truly. and i loved all your askari friends. i will miss each and every one of them, too.

  9. Hi Jo. I can fully understand why you broke down when saying goodbye to the dogs. It's like leaving part of our family behind. Thought are with you and Grant.

  10. What a surprise. Looking forward to your next post to get more info. This can't be easy.

  11. Hey Jo. I'm speechless. Talk about a chapter in one's life coming to an abrupt end. I imagine saying goodbye tot he dogs must have been close to the worst thing in the whole process. By the time I post this you're probably home already. So what's next for you guys? What is Grant going to do now?

  12. I had tears in my eyes reading this.How sad to have to leave a place you are so happy in and especially the dogs. They will all miss you too. The positives though must be moving back into your own home. Looking forward to hearing more.Good luck in the future.


Thank you for visiting my blog and taking the time to leave a comment. I appreciate your feedback. Jo