No, it’s not a title of a children’s book but our last week. The huge highlight for the week was that my Mum came to visit us and huge downside was we spent most of the week scrubbing the inside of the truck within an inch of its life.
Lets start with the good stuff: My Mum and her friend Rosemary finished their month in Zambia where they are volunteer trustees for a charity for children who are affected by AIDS. Its an amazing organization that feeds, educates and helps create a future for these vulnerable children (http://www.contesacharity.org). Unfortunately the time when we could have headed into Zambia didn’t match with their time there, so Mum said she would come down to South Africa to see us for a week. When we looked at the timing it was just two weeks before the truck was due to be shipped to Australia, so we knew we would be pretty busy but she said she didn’t mind. They had been working flat out in Zambia for the month so were exhausted and had loads of reports to write. So after looking at all the options we decided to head to the southern part of the Drakensburg Mountains to Glengarry, a campsite with cottages on a farm. It ended up being a perfect choice: gorgeous views; lots of space to sort the truck; baby animals for the girls to feed every day; but also very relaxing.
The not-so-fun part of the week was preparing the truck for Australia. To stop the introduction of non-native species into their country, the Aussies have very, very strict rules about importing a vehicle. It has to be completely clean inside and out: “As new,” is the requirement. A very tall order after having been on the road for over 2 years in 4 different continents!
What do toothbrushes, earbuds, wirewool, scrubbers, wipes, kebab sticks, a brand new vacuum cleaner (which we can not even take with us as it has dust in it) and even the weird stick you use to clean the inside of a recorder have in common……? Yes, you guessed it they were all brought into use to get the inside absolutely spotless. All the camping equipment, toys, kitchen stuff, scooters, school books etc. etc. All had to come out and be cleaned before going back in. All the drawers, cabinets and false floors had to come out and be cleaned under, a complete pain with the wires and pipes. All the nooks and crannies, of which there are a lot of, needed to be perfect. The mosquito nets and windows had to be cleaned with a toothbrush. In the end it took 4 days to get the inside spotless. Everyone pitched in with scrubbing, keeping the girls occupied and cooking, it was a real collective job. In the end after 90 man (woman and child) hours the inside was done. Now just the outside to do next week…..
We also got a chance in the evening to spend time together. It was so lovely to see Mum again, and reconnect with Rosemary. We did manage a day out to another area of the Drakensburg, Monk’s Cowl before all the cleaning started. After what seemed like too short a week (maybe with all that scrubbing they feel differently;) we dropped them at the airport in Durban. While we headed to an apartment in the suburbs close to the MAN garage to phase II of the “Great Aussie Spring Clean”.