Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Abundant Angola!!

Before leaving M’banza Congo yesterday afternoon, Jolandie was taken to the police station one last time. The officers went over her statement in detail again, checking and double checking her descriptions of the four scoundrels that took Luna from her and the black Ford ‘bakkie’ that disappeared over the horizon with Luna and Jolandie’s expedition gear on board. Assuring her that the search has by no means been called off, she was taken back to the Governor’s residence to get her, by now, meagre belongings.

With Governor Pedro Sebastião
Waiting for her was Pedro Sebastião, the Governor of the Zaire province. Having a last chat in the lounge, he again apologised for the ordeal she was subjected to in his province before handing her an envelope. And inside? Generous compensation for the loss she suffered; his contribution towards a new Luna and the load she will be carrying!! Jolandie was totally overwhelmed by this completely unexpected display of generosity.

Having said their goodbyes, Jolandie was taken to the landing strip where a Beechcraft airplane was droning on the runway to take her to Lobito.

Eagerly awaiting her arrival were the guys from Hoteis Angola who whisked her off to a press conference.

I simply have to believe that in a country where complete strangers reach out so freely and with such ease and such abundance, Jolandie had the incredible misfortune to run into the only four bad guys within its borders.

Jolandie will be spending a day or so in Lobito before making her way back to Johannesburg. Without question I am delighted that she is heading back home and Hvir’s tail hasn’t stopped wagging since she heard the news. However, I suspect a hectic time lies ahead. Best I clear the decks!!

Ooooohhh!! And switching to whisper font, the new Luna may already have a name – don’t tell Jolandie that I made sure you’re the first to know!! There may be a Pink Floyd song title in the name. Sssshhh! I didn’t say a word!! Now it is just a matter of finding a bike fitting the name and gear to match!! Oooppss, I forgot about one teeny, weeny little detail: we’ll have to rustle up some funds, donations, pledges, help and chocolate cookies to make sure the new Luna et al get back on the road again. A.S.A.P!! Feel your heart sink as you read this – you will be called upon!!!

As always: Hoteis Angola – you guys are simply phenomenal! Thank you. And Governor Pedro Sebastião, I cannot think that I will ever have sufficient vocabulary to thank you for your magnanimous and big-hearted gesture. Not only to pull out all the stops to find Luna, but also for your sizeable contribution towards getting Jolandie back on the road. Muito obrigado!

The Beechcraft ready to take Jolandie to Lobito

Cockpit and cabin - only anorexic hostesses need to apply!!

The fighter jets that went looking for Luna. Oh, no! That's wrong, it's just fighter jets on the runway.
THIS is one of the two police helicopters that spent two days up in the sky with eyes peeled for a sighting of four scoundrels and Luna!

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Lovingly maintained and updated by La Domestique.

1 comment:

Alastair said...

It's fascinating to read about Angola - when I cycled through Africa (www.alastairhumphreys.com) I was refused a visa for Angola which was a real shame..
Good luck!