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One of my worst nightmares was travelling out of Africa pregnant with two small children in tow all the way to Australia. Oh, and five bags to manage with a week stop over in Amsterdam. We had been living there for two years and my three year old son had never learnt about fences, boundaries and escaltors while we lived in a rural setting. Getting through airports having to wait in line ups was impossible. My son would just race on and I couldn’t get out of the line to catch him. Never say no to baby leads when you are travelling. The morning of the day we were to catch the final plane home we took the usual lift down to the foyer when his colouring pencils fell out one by one down cracks in the old lift when it suddenly jerked to a stop. My heart sank. Meanwile after a short spell, which seemed an age, crunch, crackle, clunking our way down to the next floor, I sighed a huge relief and sent up a prayer of gratitude. ‘Mum, why didn’t you meet me at the airport like we planned’? Evidently our plans didn’t coincide or link up since they were travelling in Europe at the time.Thank God the KLM staff were so good with the little ones on the long trip home to enable me to rest, pregnant with my third. Bracksten hicks pains were taunting me flying over Bangkok. Am I going to mek it? I don’t want my third to be born in India. lOf course the children did not sleep a wink until we hit Sydney in time to change planes. When I finally arrived home, the plane had to circle over Casino for an hour because of air traffic. An almighty long trip embedded into my memory forever. My brother had never seen me looking such a wreck and talking ‘posh’. In the first few weeks my three yr old son was discovering a new world he’d never encountered in Africa. He’d make funny comments like ‘Mum, why does that house over there just have toilets in it’ referring to public toilets in a park. What an odd thing for a three year olds mind to grapple with coming out of Africa? My daughter heard people saying ‘Ta’. What ta Mum? Oh that’s ‘thankyou’ I told her with our English accents acquired for Nigerians to undertand us. Coming home was truly an adjustment for us all.

Posted by alio, 30th April 2013

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  • Aw wow what a trip ! You must have been so exhausted when you arrived. How sweet can some helping hands and a good bed to rest your weary body be !!
    2 of my sisters lived in Africa for over 15 years, one died but my other sister still lives in Zimbabwe. I think she can relate to you as she has traveled a lot also when her kids were young.
    It’s always good to ask help from the airport company in these type of situations. They will accompany you where ever you need to go and help you with luggage and kids.


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