The girls were squealing so loud we had to ask them to tone it down. We were on the road to our house and they knew it was just around the corner. They couldn’t wait to see everyone again. They had missed Sarita and Angie and their puppy Sasha. As we turned around the tight bend above our house they couldn’t contain themselves. They were bouncing up and down and screaming. We were all so happy to be home. It had been a long, amazing trip in South Africa but we were ready to get back to our house.
We had given out a lot. There was a lot of talking and answering the same questions over and over, which was exhausting. At the same time, we were glad people were interested in our lives in India. I found myself getting peopled out quite quickly and a bit overwhelmed with the intensity of all the meetings. I also struggled with the whiteness of it all. We were used to being the minority. I missed the faces of our Mussoorie friends. Our lives there were simple. There were times when I felt quite brain dead for lack of stimulating English conversation but when we were in it, it was all too much for me. We arrived home needing a holiday. We caught up with people and had a month to settled back in.
While we were in South Africa there were lots of people who said they wanted to visit us. Some came for a week, others for a few months and others for a few years. Dudley and Margi Reed came for a couple of weeks and were such an encouragement to us. Graham and Kay Jones arrived with their little boys, Seth and Caleb and moved into the flat downstairs. They were going to stay for a long time and we were so happy to have their company. The boys were almost the same age as Asha and Zoe and they got on really well. Except for one thing.
The girls loved ladybugs. They were their friends and pets. They collected them and talked to them. If they had been able to find clothes for them they would have dressed them. One day they came from the roof screaming hysterically. When they calmed down enough to talk they told me, “Seth and Caleb are frying ladybugs! They won’t stop!” They were so distressed. I went up to the roof to see what was going on. The boys had poked splinters through the ladybugs and made their own little fire to fry them on. They had no idea what all the fuss was about.
The boys also taught the girls how to enjoy scrambling around the hillside. Before they arrived Asha and Zoe only played on the roof and the rock. Seth and Caleb got them clambering through the bush, down to the bottom road and all over the cud. They became quite adventurous. There were lots of sleepovers and dress-ups and we were in and out of each other’s houses all the time.
Louise Bulley, Dudley Daniel, Lee and Anne Cowles, Dalton and Tracey Gibbs, Don and Andrew Cook, Rob and Glenda, Terry and Linda Fouche, The McKellars, Chris and Meryl, Gill Coetzee, a team from Waverley and Tony’s sister Jan and her husband Allan were among the many visitors we had.
Each had their own India stories to tell but they all had one story in common; the road trip from Dehra Dun to Mussoorie. It was something they would never forget.