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Trip to South Africa ....

OK. So I'm leaving on Friday night (Saturday morning VERY early) for South Africa, to visit the family. Not sure how enjoyable it is going to be as I'm not much for family gatherings, and it's going to be a very exhausting schedule for the two weeks I'll be there. Main reason I'm going is my uncle is fighting lung cancer and may not survive it. I really need to see him. I also have two new nieces (twins) who are two years old and a nephew who was born in last March, so need to touch roots.

I fly Dubai Johannesburg with KLM (Kenya Airways partner) very early on Saturday morning. Overnight in Johannesburg, then next morning fly to Port Elizabeth where I'll be hooking up with a family friend for our journey to Cape St. Francis and a visit with my uncle and his wife. My uncle will be starting chemo therapy just after my visit. We'll be staying four days with my sister and her family while I'm there. Then fly from Port Elizabeth to Cape Town to visit some more family and some very good friends of mine. Then after five days in Cape Town back to Johannesburg, a day in Johannesburg and then back to Dubai and work.

Am both excited, but at the same time slightly apprehensive as I've never really been good with family gatherings. My family has gone to enormous effort though with detailed planning, hope I can squeeze comfortably into those. So have been telling myself, relax, relax, and relax ...... Not looking forward to saying goodbye to my uncle either. We probably won't say goodbye though. We will be talking about everything under the sun as per usual and he'll poke fun at the heavy stuff. Darn! I don't want him to go.

4 blog comments below

Sounds like you'll be very busy. I don't know if I could do all that because I'm not a fan of feeling rushed or feeling like I'm running around. Family gatherings have also been rather awkward for me, even when I was a kid and that hasn't changed over the years. Probably didn't help I was in that awkward age group where I was old enough to sit with the big kids but we were too old to feel comfortable sitting with the little kids.

I'm sorry to hear about your uncle. It sounds like you're rather close to him. I lost an uncle to cancer some years back and it hurt but I was never that close and I didn't know much about him. I'd picked up a few details afterwards when he was gone and it made me regret not reaching out.

I wouldn't look at it as an opportunity to say goodbye, just a chance to be with someone and have a good time and talk and catchup. Maybe you'll learn a few things you'd never known about him. I hope he does make it through okay. And I hope you enjoy your visit with him and with the rest of your family and friends while you're out and about.
TheGremlyn on Wed Feb 13, 2013 1:15 am
True. When people are in the process of dying one tends to learn a totally different side of them and of oneself as well. I wouldn't say it will turn my life completely upside down, I'm a bit too detached for that. It does feel a bit permanent though. But yes, I'd think all of us will make our moments with him count for the gathering, without fussing about anything. We're quite good with that and it would be what he and all of us prefer any way.
deanhills on Wed Feb 13, 2013 1:11 pm
Good luck man; like you, I'm not one for family gatherings, but, sometimes you need to be there for them. Hope your trip is pleasant as it can be and that your uncle pulls through.

I've lost a couple family members to various cancers, it's not pleasant... but a couple others (and two friends) have had them and come out cancer free at the end. In both situations it's stressful.
Ankhanu on Wed Feb 13, 2013 9:21 pm
Dean, I think you already know how I feel about family (nightmares). Try to enjoy your trip and visit with your uncle. Safe travels, my friend.
standready on Wed Feb 13, 2013 11:20 pm

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