Well, Kay's come and gone. Thankfully on Friday she arrived in one piece from her 10-week adventure in Tanzania, but I only found out two days ago how close she came to not being here at all.
I was so relieved to see her walk through the arrival gate at the airport on Friday. Slim, tanned and looking good. Hours later we were home chatting non-stop into the early morning next day about all her adventures in Tanzania. It was then that she dropped the bombshell. She hadn't been entirely honest about the mugging five weeks ago. Yes, she had been mugged. Yes, she had had all the contents of her bag stolen. Yes, it was two men on a motorbike who had driven up alongside her and then driven off again with her bag. But there was one small detail she had decided to keep from me until we met up again. One man had got off the motorbike and walked purposefully towards her. As he approached her, she could see he was holding something behind him. When he was inches from her, he produced a machete and motioned to her to hand over her bag. She said it was amazing how everything around her froze and various scenarios flashed through her brain at one and the same time until reason quickly dictated it was safer to hand over the bag and run. When she got back to her hostel, the enormity of the situation overpowered her and she burst into tears. It was because of that the hostel manager took her to the police to report the crime, although the police were pretty unconcerned about it.
The fact that my daughter was faced with such a traumatic experience and her first thought was to spare me the worry and swear her friends to secrecy too on any facebook comments, in case I read them, has made me realise what an amazing girl she is. I always knew that, of course, but that just confirms it.
The washing machine worked flat-out this weekend removing the African dust, sweat and tears from her things, though not from her mind - it has clearly shaken her. Four washloads in all which I was able to dry in the autumn sun and fold up fresh for her to pack this morning. She left in her overloaded car at 3.30pm this afternoon with no more room for a pin for the 6-hour drive north. She'll be there by 10pm, just in time to unpack umpteen suitcases and fall into bed. Her last (sixth) year of uni starts tomorrow with a whole day of lectures at 9am. Like I said, she's bloody amazing, but I may be a little biased.