From the US, to quarantine, to home: SA man’s long journey to be reunited with his wife
He spent the night in Colesberg. He thought it would be safer than making the trip in one day.
“I kept on thinking how bad it would be to have an accident or something on the way after this epic journey. It was interesting to see how Covid-19 affected even the small dorps on the way. Many empty. But the informal settlement at De Doorns was pumping.”
Matthew added: “I even saw people hitchhiking! Whose gonna pick someone up during Covid-19?”
Finally, the sight appeared, for which he had longed for months: “Seeing those Western Cape mountain ranges in the distance was incredible.”
Coming from the teaching programme where he was based in Iowa – which is very flat – “seeing the mountains felt like coming home”.
“It was so amazing to meet fellow South Africans on the road. There is just something about coming home. But at the same time home was also different. Like it was home, with Covid-19.”
As he came through the Huguenot Tunnel near Paarl, the roads became busier, which surprised him.
“And [then] seeing Table Mountain again is always incredible. But this time it was even more special.”
The last hour of his journey was tantalising: “I was sharing my location via WhatsApp with Clea and so she knew when I was just around the block. She met me in the road and we just were both in tears. It really puts what is important into perspective.
“As a filmmaker, I’ve been making little films of my journey so far. And I knew this one would be emotional. And then there is the sea. Seeing the sea was just so healing at a level I don’t think I even understand. I just wish we could swim in it.
“We’ve now moved into a new place and we are learning how to be together in lockdown. A new chapter begins. But whatever happens now, I know that we are in it together.”
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