I lived in the Seychelles once. My fiancé and his three business partners were opening up a French restaurant there. They were all Swiss. I was the only girl, this was way back, in my BC days.
I was thrilled to be starting a new life, but knew I’d find it difficult fending for myself. I was leaving all things familiar. When discrimination rose up against me, I found it particularly hard to bear but kept quiet.
We left Joh’burg singing John Denver’s ‘Leaving on a Jet Plane’ hit – us twenty somethings were delirious with excitement. We stopped overnight in Mombasa, Kenya to change flights. We rushed forward with everyone else in the queue; excited that we were half way there. Sadly, I was refused entry because of my South African passport. So, we all slept on the wooden airport benches in the building. My friends weren’t going to leave me. Thank God.
Landing in the Seychelles was even more exciting, gosh it was beautiful from the air. Desperate to get out there, and once again moving forward with loads of other passengers. But I was singled out as not wanted. They flatly refused my entry for the same reason. In the end, after much humiliation, they allowed me onto the islands as my Fiancé’s dependant, and had my name stamped into his passport. They kept mine.
I was numb with fear and everything inside me caved in. But I live to tell the tale, and quite a nice turnaround occurred some months later. I’ll explain on another page.
The restaurant was also out of bounds. I was told I couldn’t work, not even unpaid. So, hey-ho I got very tanned and started drinking a lot of Seybrew beer. Which came from South Africa.
We learned to play golf before the restaurant was ready for opening. The golf pro was a handsome, gentle guy, an American from the tracking station there at the time. Priorities, right? Anyway, he taught me a lot, and introduced me to a young, local, palsied boy with mahogany coloured skin. He was about sixteen. A very obliging and caring soul, who carried my clubs (a half set), guided me along, and handed me whatever club to use. I loved sports at school and had good hand eye co-ordination, but was never privileged to play golf. But this youngster spent his life on the course, he also collected lost balls to sell, at least he could earn a little extra. They said his family didn’t look after him.
But despite all that he was always cheerful. He’d laugh and jump up and down and hug me excitedly, when I had unbelievably good shots. His gangly gait didn’t seem to bother him at all. Except that he couldn’t play as he would have liked. But he egged me on and pushed me to just go for it. So, I did, despite what was going on in my life and the inferior feelings going on in my head, which he knew nothing about. Perhaps he saw that I was alone a lot. We had something in common. Being abandoned. A little angel he was.
Early one morning – it had to be early to avoid the unbearable heat later in the day – I was teed up and ready to whack the ball with all that was in me, only to have it hit one of the lazy palm trees lolling about all over the place, and land back behind the tee.
Sometimes life’s like that – whoops and your worlds turned upside down like an hour glass. And you have to start over.
Groaning as you watch your life slip through the pinched in bit, one pulverized grain at a time.
I’ve lost count of the times that has happened to me. I moaned and whinged, kicked off at everything, and never stopped long enough to be told how wrong I’d been again. A voice deep inside cried out like the old Beatles song – help me if you can I’m feeling down – silence can be so loud.
All pictures by Pixabay unless otherwise stated.