I was ambitious in thinking I could tell this story in three parts. I’m expanding it to four.
Our stay in Swaziland began peacefully. We crossed the border at Bulembu, a tiny town northeast of the busier border crossing at Oshoek. Rather than jostling around in long lines and dealing with surly immigration officials, we sauntered into a one-room building and chatted with the three women behind the counter. They crochet lace to pass the time – I bought a piece for R100. They stamped our passports with a smile (no paperwork required) and we were off.
Three weeks from now I’ll be on a plane to South Africa. Barring unforeseen circumstances, of course. I’ve reached that point in the departure countdown when I obsess about all the bad things that could prevent me from leaving. Possibilities include: terrorist attack; death in the family; severe weather or other act of god (e.g., ash cloud); lost passport. One of these nightmares nearly became reality this week. On Tuesday morning I went to the post office to check my P.O. box. In the box was a small slip of paper saying I had received a package that needed to be picked up from behind the counter.
Deciding to move to South Africa is one thing. Actually doing it is another. When I made this decision in January, my first order of business was to uproot myself from a marriage, and a house, and an entire life that I realized I didn’t belong in. There are no words to describe this process, and it’s not what this blog is about anyway, so I’ll spare you the details. Let’s just say it was, umm, hard, and required most of my energy for several months. I think the worst is over now. Around May, I realized I better start planning to move.