Thursday, April 30, 2015

Angola Expedition 2015

So I'm off to Angola again.  Perhaps not as reluctant as when I was a conscript.  But not with the same excitement mingling with anxiety and even fear that I took with me in 2012.  I've been there.  And I've been there again. A journey that put to rest the last of the ghosts from the war.  A new relationship was formed with the place and this time I met people. I had a deep meeting with the Cuban, Roberto. A man who had been an enemy soldier in 1987.  We had no language to explain to each other the depth of our connection. Yet we were able to let each other know in ways way beyond words, the importance of this meeting for us both.  A deeply and touching and affirming meeting between two human beings whose countries put them on a battlefield to kill each other.  We resolved something for each other.  I left in tears.  I left with peace.

So why go back again?  I could say that I'm going back to support another former conscript and Angolan war veteran.  And that is true. But he's capable of doing his trip without me.  He and his buddy from back then and the other friends who are riding along with him on their 'adventure motorcycles'.   I'm going back because I'm always up for an expedition and the possibility of adventure.  And I'm always up for spending time in the bush.  I'm going to give what support I can to these other former conscripts.  I'm going along to enjoy the huge Botswana skies, the endless bushscapes, the beautiful rivers of the Caprivi and Angola. Most of all I'm going to enjoy meeting all sorts of wonderful people.  Travel without meeting new people is, after all, a sterile business.

We start with a long road trip from Gauteng to Maun in Botswana.  I'm travelling with my old MK friend Patrick again.  So the journey will be a meandering affair, at times 'pushing' hard with hours on the road, and other times lingering with friends and connections old and new.  We hook up with the bikers and then head to Rundu in Namibia.  Then to the border crossing at Katwitwi and on to Menongue and Cuito Cuanavale.

As with all travel, each journey is different.  Even when it is to the same place.  I look forward to sharing my journey with you once again.