Goodbye and Hello

I hate goodbyes. Especially goodbyes that are going to last forever. What do you say to people when you know you’ll probably never see them again? Sandy and I joked about some of the generic goodbyes people come up with. “Have a good one,” “stay in touch,” “keep on truckin'” or my least favourite “have a good life”. My personal favourite is when you plan to meet up to say goodbye, and then plans have to change and you never see the person again. It just saves so much awkwardness.
Saying goodbye to the woo girls was sad. But I was hungover and still half asleep when Cara came climbing through our open window to say goodbye. I was nervous about the gorge swing and trying to get ready for rafting. So it didn’t feel like a goodbye.
It hit me that everyone was leaving as I watched the cab drive away with Robbo, Emily, Nick and Sandy all in the back. What now?
Now we had new people to meet. A new group to bond with. And new adventures to experience. I was so excited to keep on with the trip. We have SO many incredible things to do still, and 3 months to go! It was just sad we couldn’t do it all with our new friends by our side.
That afternoon we wandered around lost. We sat in a dingy Internet cafe with a squeaky fan, trying to catch up on the world we left behind at home. Then we sat at the pool bar with a cold beer. It felt weird just being with Kelsi. The two of us had rarely been alone together for the past month. We both kept looking around for the others to join us.
So we decided to go meet our new tour guide and sign some paperwork. Manda, our new guide was really amazing. He was accommodating, easy going, personable and really sweet. But we just kept looking back over at our old truck, with our first guide Chris, our cook Duncan and our incredible driver Elouise.
We had missed our new group meeting the night before and didn’t know anyone in our group. Manda sorted us out and let us pick out a new tent. We picked “Bush Baby #4” the most dilapidated looking tent we could find. “This one’s ours!” We announced proudly. We set it up, then walked through the campsite in search of our laundry. We walked by a table in the middle of our camping area and saw a girl sitting there alone. She looked blue. Literally. She was wet and her blue Thai pants had bled, staining her legs a bright blue colour.
“Hey, are you on our tour to Cape Town?” She was. So we did introductions in an effort find a new friend on the trip.
Gina was from Brisbane and had just spent the last few months in Mwanza volunteering with orphans. On her flight down to Vic Falls, the airline had lost all of her bags. All she had were the wet clothes that had turned her blue.
“That sucks! What are you going to DO?!” We asked.
“I’m going to sit here and have a cigarette” we laughed.
“You want some chips?”
“Yup”
We had nothing to complain about. Poor Gina had just left all of her orphan friends, lost her luggage, and sat alone in the middle of the campsite covered in blue. It was kinda funny. Especially when we then had to walk right by her, carrying all our freshly washed clothes tauntingly past her.
Gina seemed like a cool chick. Looks like we’d have at least one good friend to cause some trouble with on the second half of the trip.
Things were looking up! Let’s begin a new journey…

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