Finetastic Adventures

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Final Chapter: Part 2

Though we left the 'real' Africa behind when we flew out of Rwanda, we weren't yet on our way back to the US. There was still the trip to Cape Town; that was our destination--via Addis Ababa where we had to spend a night before arriving, once again, in South Africa on September 14. This part of our post Peace Corps trip was added just before departing Polokwane, when our daughter Alyssa informed us that she and Laval had decided to get married. After much thought and research, they picked the wine country outside of Cape Town as the site for the ceremony. Alyssa had lived in Cape Town for a semester during college a few years before, and the area remains one of her favorites.

We were the last ones to arrive; Alyssa, Laval and seven members of his family flew in from Mauritius the day before, as did our son Larry and his girlfriend Laura from Atlanta. After two full days in Cape Town, we packed the 13 of us and luggage into three small rental cars and drove to the beautiful wine country an hour away. A wine farm in Franschhoek was our home for the next three days, where we had three fantastic, beautifully situated cottages. The lawn in front of our cottage rolled down to a pond with mountains in the background―an idyllic spot for a wedding. Alas, we awoke on Thursday, the wedding day, to what was undoubtedly the worst weather we had seen in our two years in South Africa. The rain, fog and cold wind forced the ceremony indoors, with a roaring fire in the fireplace to serve as not only the backdrop, but as our source of warmth-instead of the usual blue sky and big sun to which we had grown so accustomed. But all still went well; the marriage officer arrived on time from Cape Town (on time even by American standards); the cupcakes from Charly's Bakery were delicious; and the wines which we had tasted the day before were perfect.

After Laval's family, Larry and Laura left on Saturday, Dave and I were able to spend three more days with the honeymooners in Cape Town. We had perfect weather, and enjoyed what we knew would be the last time with them for many months. We said our goodbyes at the airport, not only to Alyssa and now son-in-law Laval, but to Africa. Being in Cape Town, at least, was not like the Africa we had known, so we hoped this would ease our transition into the West. So began a long flight to Chicago, and a long separation from our kids. What comes next for us? Only time will tell....


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