“In this life journey we meet incredible people [that] our souls connect with instinctively. Last week I travelled with some amazing beings. We shared laughs, we shared food, we shared drinks, we shared care, we shared the little we had, we shared the abundance we had, we shared of ourselves, we shared sharing. They are my teachers and my friends. God knows the love I have for them.”
– Phindi, Truckmate 🙂
I’m not sure if there is any simpler and more heartfelt and right-on way I could say this. This is literally all I feel about my journey to Zimbabwe and all the wonderful people I met and got to know and formed a weird little bond with. But let me tell you a little about the greatest overlander truck to ever exist. Let me tell you a little about the people of Truck Hercules.
Nas and Bule: If there ever were a more laid back couple than these two, I don’t know of it. Nas was the first person I actually met, and she was excellently chill and so friendly. We kept on teasing Nas about how strict she is with Bule and he just kept laughing at us. That made sense, because the endearment with which the whole thing played out between the two of them was one of the sweetest things about them.They’re both very attractive as well, so everything makes sense. And to be fair, I think Nas is strict with everyone – she made me eat my food during the last supper. ILY, both.
Lusanda: This little lady is so spirited and such a creative individual you can almost see kaleidoscope emissions coming off her, the way those smelly squiggly lines come off of cartoon characters. It is unmissable and so cool. Also, she’s gorgeous and fearless. She helped me flirt with this Swiss boy at a party on the 30th. He was really hot and I turned into a blubbering mess when I saw his biceps. Lucie was kind enough to calmly coach me. She was also one of the few crazy people who went white water rafting on the Zambezi and I will physically fight anybody who thinks that is not thee most badass thing to friggin do.
Louise and Marcel: Whymisical Louise and her awesome love, Marcel. I may have been a little obsessed with these two’s union because it is so lovely and unadulterated and just all the things. I’m okay with that though, because I was not the only one who expressed how affected I was by the two of them and their love. We’d all just look on and sigh whenever they interacted. Above all that, I had the most amazing time hanging out with these guys – they are the truest jol to hang with.
Zintle: This girl took such good care of me. It was a few days before we actually sort of hung out but once we did, I couldn’t stop hugging her because she’s so bloody pretty, like a doll, and just kindest kid in class. There are lot of random things I made this tranquil spirit do but we also sat through Dumi’s sex counselling chat together, which kinda bonds you for life. We were inseperable after that – she’s the Vic Falls Yin to my Yang.
Dumi and Phindi: I want to say our charismatic leader but that feels hitlerish. Dumi was more like a big brother/resident sex counsellor/party starter. He is a presence – like a big one. And his particular person – yes, this is what he calls her – Phindi is very outspoken and she stares right into your eyes when she speaks. At first I felt like she was staring into my soul, which made me feel hella anxious, but I remembered she’s with Dumi, which means she’s probably insane. And insane people are the best people, so I got over myself.
TK and Derek. The two lovely big boys. Anybody who knows me, knows that big boys are my fave thing (Ugh, there’s no clean way to put that statement across, sorry). One was beautifully above average tall and the other had a laugh and ass that brought tears to my eyes. They were also quite adventurous. Like we all did a few activities, but these dudes had plans like everyday to some death defying shit. Kudos. I don’t have the balls – literally. They are such cool peoples. But by far the coolest thing about them is that they were with my tent mate, Simi!
Simi: Sim-ee, Sim sim, Now you Simi – my roomie! Simi and I were the only solo ladies and that’s how we ended up in a tent together. It was the beginning of the coolest roomship. Simi, like my dad, was born on the first day of the year. Amd we all gathered around in our campsite during the last supper and watched her welcome the new year and blow out the candles on her birthday. There was champers and there were tears. It was transcendental.
The Danish kids: Lars, Camilla and Simone. Lars and I sat next to each other on the bus, so we clocked in quiet a few hours in each other’s company. What were we doing most of the time? Sleeping. It’s almost like we were competing or something. At some point it felt like it was contagious and eventually our sleep times just started synching. Lars is so polite that he would feel so bad if he fell onto my shoulder by mistake – what a sweetie. Camilla and Simone were travelling with him and they remind me of doves, the way they’re so pretty and soft spoken. Made me think the whole time, are Danish people really quiet or are South Africans just really loud?
Mas and Nthabi: The two ladies with the dreads that went down to the arches of their backs #longdreadsdontcare – I’m being biased about this because I have dreadlocks, duh. Mas takes brilliant instagram-worthy photographs and she was always the first to wake up, and Nthabi is sweet but she was the first to be visibly gatvol when we got to the 1000 metre long queue at the South African border. I dig both of them – for all those reasons – hugely.
Tim and Tiega: First of all, they sound like a sitcom, what’s not love? Also, they’re close friends and make me think of Portland, USA twenty-somethings… How I Met Your Mother, anyone? (I know its set in NY, don’t be a smartass). I just wanna make a show out of them because they’re so damn cool and wonderful and fun to chill with, godammit!
Harley from Australia: Harley, Harley, Harley… our charming Australian friend. There is so much to say about the upbeat, lone-wolf Mr Straya, especially from an American perspective, I think? 😛 But, what happens on Truck Hercules stays on Truck Hercules. We didn’t let him forget though – in fact we had a right lekker time with it. It was nice – he was nice.
Ofentse and Thuli: Ofentse runs and Thuli is the queen of taking pictures. Ofentse is one half of the magic duo (the other half being Dumi) who prepared the last supper for us, the biggest gesture of our bond as Team Herc. And I don’t think there’s anybody on the truck who didn’t get a chance to be involved in an impromptu Thuli photoshoot with all her professional Kardashian poses. I think I took like 20 pictures of her at one spot at the Victoria Falls National Park – and it was my pleasure because she is a delight to be around.
Pete and her sister: Pete’s sister was quiet and honestly even when everybody was complaining about the heat or the queues, she also complained but with a smile. How? What a lovely lady. Pete was our resident photographer – she had like a real camera, not just a phone. And she was also more obsessed with mosquito spray than the rest of us. Great gals.
The older dudes: The suppliers of sage advice and unlimited red bulls. These guys were obviously more travelled than us, especially in Africa and they always had something really helpful or really funny to say about the places we were visiting. And I’m not mad about the cold water and energy drinks that they offered us during those smoulderingly hot days either. Hearts.
And last but not least, our drivers and uncles for all intensive purposes, Amious and Munya, four words. THEY. ARE. THE. BEST. I have been truly lucky to have met all of these funions and I appreciate that they exist and that they are all awesome. I love you, guys and thanks for the memories… *sniff sniff*