Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Journeying home

And so our week away has come to a close. The rest of our extended family are staying for a second week. While it was lovely to see so many of my family, especially some who are now living overseas, I am under no illusions that this was a relaxing break and am glad that we chose to be away for just one of the two weeks. There were many moments of frustration and sheer annoyance accompanied by the exhaustion that comes from very little sleep and being surrounded by so many people for such an intense period of time. However, the journey home came with a surreal sense of fulfillment; for one precious week I was able to leave behind the realities and perils of my life at home. Although physically and emotionally tired, I am feeling strangely content and somewhat recharged. I am looking forward to the new year with equal parts anticipation for what 2010 may bring and eagerness to leave behind 2009.

Our return journey also had its moment of comedy and unorthodoxy. As we were checking in, my cousin (who had promised to bring our luggage to the airport but predictably turned up after we had already arrived) asked if anyone wanted to take home a live crayfish that was on the back of his truck. If we didn't want it, he'd just give it away to someone else at the airport. My sweetie was not going to let an opportunity like this go and promptly ventured outside, armed with plastic bags and his carry-on bag. I think Air Chathams must be the only airline which does not raise an eyebrow to carrying live crayfish as carry-on luggage during a flight! This 3kg beauty was a welcome surprise for my sweetie's parents when we turned up at their place for an impromptu dinner tonight.

We said our goodbyes and filed onto the plane. Being last on meant there was no choice about where we sat (no allocated seating here!) but also revealed a slight problem: someone had miscounted and we were short one seat on the plane. Let me explain ... the plane seats a maximum of 50 people but has an expandable cargo hold. On our flight down, there were 18 seats and lots more space for cargo; our return flight needed 28 seats but ended up with 27 which could be occupied and the 'shotgun' seat, usually reserved for a small person or a child. A bit of shuffling around meant that a seat was found for my mother, and we were off! Well, after more rearranging was done once it was realised that my nephew was sitting in an exit aisle - both his parents were in one each. So guess who ended up sitting in the seat with no window in what is usually the cargo hold? Yep, that's what aunties are for, lol.

As we finally took off, I couldn't help but wonder when or if I will return to Wharekauri. Each trip after my grandparents' funerals has been an absolute bonus; there are no guarantees of future trips.
I feel I have well and truly achieved an ongoing goal on this trip: #69 - Take meaningful photos of my local area. In addition to my Project 365, and whatever photos I take in the future, I am really pleased to have built up a cache of memories from my father's family homeland.

1 comment:

Sab said...

Beautiful! I loved reading about your trip! Lovely!

And that crayfish... crazy! :O