My hart juig en jubel!

(English below)

Dis Maandagoggend en weke se spanning en onsekerheid is verby. Ek het gisteroggend my visumaansoek vir Soedan ingegee (en heel eerste het hul na die inkomsstempel in Egipte gekyk!) en laat gistermiddag het ek die visum gekry! Ek is oppad Kaapstad toe!! Die Here is goed vir my.

Nou kan ek julle in detail vertel wat ek alles gedoen het. Ek het die Israeli’s gevra om my ou paspoort te stempel. In die ou paspoort het ek (onwettig) in Tel Aviv vir ‘n tweede Egiptiese visum aansoek gedoen. Verlede Maandag het ek met my ou paspoort in Egipte aangekom en Donderdag is ek toe weer met die ou paspoort weg uit Egipte Griekeland toe (naaste en goedkoopste). Ek is toe van Griekeland met my nuwe paspoort terug Egipte toe om ‘n Kairo stempel in my paspoort te kry. En dis wat die Soedanese gister eerste wou sien …  Ek sal nou op die veerboot Wadi Halfa toe volgende Maandag uitwerk hoe ek van die Taba stempel in die doeanedokument ontslae gaan raak. My botteltjie ink (ja, ek het my vulpen by my) kan per ongeluk oor dit uitval, of met my Leatherman verwyder ek die hele Egiptiese blaai uit die Carnet. En my ou paspoort gooi ek oorboord voor ek in Soedan aankom …

Nou wil ek ‘n laaste ongelooflike storie vertel. Die wêreld is klein. Baie klein.

In Augustus 2008 het ek in die Vrystaat onderhoude gedoen. Teen skemeraand het ek in Ladybrand by ‘n gastehuis gestop waar ek wou hoor of hulle ‘n kamer beskikbaar gehad het. Die eienares het uitgekom, en dit was ‘n pragtige jong dame wat baie jare gelede van St. 6 – St. 8 in my Duitse klas op Edenburg by my Duits gehad het! Christine was ook in die heel eerste uitruilgroep van my wat ooit Duitsland toe gegaan het. Na al die jare het ons paaie daardie aand weer gekruis.

Ek is sedert gister in ‘n stad naby Kairo met die naam 6 October. Hier kuier ek by Suid-Afrikaners wat hier werk. En wie is hulle? Makkie is Christine se oudste sussie en was in Matriek toe ek as onderwyser op Edenburg begin het. Makkie is met Herbert Hattingh getroud, en Herbert van Bothaville waar ek my onderwysloopbaan afgesluit het! Makkie het van Christine gehoor wat ek doen en het my uitgenooi om by hulle te kom kuier. Hul dogter Martie bederf my die hele tyd met koffie en Yamama Pies. Hemel op aarde.

Dis nog nie die einde van die storie nie. Gisteraand het nog twee Suid-Afrikaners kom kuier, Robert en Gerda Kleynhans. Hulle was onderwysers op Nylstroom, die dorp net suid van Naboomspruit waar ek nou woon! En nog ‘n onderwyseres kuier hier, Annetjie Teessen uit Upington. Sy ken weer ‘n ou weermagvriend van my, Jaap Steyn uit Postmasburg, goed.

Nog steeds is dit nie die einde nie. Verlede jaar aan die einde van ons Africa our Home projek was ek en Anja met my bakkie in Alexandrië van waar dit per skip teruggestuur sou word Suid-Afrika toe. Een oggend het ons by die bakkie gekom en daar was ‘n briefie van ‘n ene Callie de Jager wat gevra het wat ons daar doen. Ek het later op die internet probeer om die Callie de Jager op te spoor, sonder sukses. Gisteraand het ek uitgevind wie is Callie. Callie is ‘n vriend van Herbert en Makkie! Vanoggend het ek met sy vriend Frans Visser gepraat en hy het bevestig dit was hy en Callie wat die briefie op die bakkie gelos het.

En dit het alles op ‘n vroegaand in winter Ladybrand begin …

Vanmiddag besoek ons nog ‘n skool met 1 200 leerders hier naby waar ek so ietsie oor my ry gaan vertel, en more is dit weer ek en die langpad!

Groete op hierdie mooie Maandagoggend aan julle almal!

We met at Athens Airport while watching Greece playing their opening match. I never realised they were from South Africa until Nicole turned around and I saw the South African flag on her arm.

Makkie en Martie het ons met 'n heerlike aandete bederf!

English

Good morning!

It is a lovely Monday morning! Yesterday I got my visa for Sudan!! Tomorrow the journey towards Cape Town starts in all earnest. The Lord was so good to me!

Now I can tell you what I had to do to get this visa.

In Israel I had to use my old passport for the Israeli stamps. I (illegally) applied for a second Egyptian visa in Tel Aviv, presenting my old passport. I entered Egypt on the old passport. On Thursday I left Egypt to Athens (closest and cheapest option) still using my old passport. On my return to Egypt I started using the new passport and on arrival in Cairo I got the stamp that I needed so badly: A first entry into Egypt via Cairo. That stamp was so important. It was the first stamp the Sudanese embassy asked for before they accepted my visa application.

I still have one small problem, the Taba entry stamp in the Carnet de Passage of the KLR. On the ferry to Sudan I can perhaps spill my ink over it (yes, I am using a fountain pen), or I can remove the whole Egypt page from the Carnet. I will throw my old passport overboard before getting to Sudan. (Can you imagine if I, by accident, throw the new passport overboard!)

I want to tell you an unbelievable story. Do you know how small the world is?

I was doing interviews in the Free State during August 2008. Early evening one night I stopped at a guesthouse in Ladybrand to ask whether they still had a room available. A beautiful young lady opened the door. I recognized her immediately. Her name was Christine and she was in my German class for three years in Edenburg. She was also a member of my first ever exchange group to Germany many years ago. After all those years we met again that night.

Since yesterday I am on visit in a city near Cairo called 6 October. I am visiting South Africans working here in Egypt. They are Makkie and Herbert Hattingh and their daughter Martie. Makkie is the older sister of Christine and was in Matric when I started as teacher in Edenburg. From Christine she heard about my trip and hence the invitation. Herbert attended school in Bothaville where I was a teacher after leaving Edenburg! What a privilege to see Makkie again after so many years! Martie, their daughter, is doing home schooling and is spoiling me with coffee and Yamama Pies. I feel like a king!

It is still not the end of the story. Last night two South African teachers came to visit, Robbert and Gerda Kleynhans. They taught at Hoërskool Nylstroom, the town just south of Naboomspruit where I live! Another South African teacher is on visit here, Annetjie Teessen, from Upington. She knows again an old army friend of mine well, Jaap Steyn from Postmasburg.

Still it is not the end of the story. Last year after we completed the Africa our Home project Anja and I were in Alexandria to ship my pick-up back to South Africa. One morning there was a note on the bakkie. A certain Callie de Jager wrote it and asked what we were doing in Egypt. I used the internet to trace this Callie de Jager, but in vain. Last night also that riddle was solved. Callie is a friend of Makkie and Herbert! I spoke to Frans Visser this morning. He confirmed that he and Callie left the note on my car!

And all this started one cold winter evening in Ladybrand when Christine opened the door of her guesthouse…

This afternoon we are visiting a school with 1 200 learners close by where I am going to tell a bit about my trip and tomorrow I start riding for Cape Town!

Enjoy this wonderful Monday!

About Lodie

Africa, Africa, Africa!
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