As the plane touched down I felt the first shards of anxiety. Was I doing the right thing? Would I be okay? Would the kids be okay? What if I didn’t like anyone on the trip? What if they didn’t like me?
I walked outside, not really knowing what I planned to do next, when a man asked if I needed a taxi. I did. I got into his immaculately kept ’90s Mercedes and proceeded to have a conversation that set the tone for what was to be a significant and forever-changing personal journey through Mozambique.
He asked me what I was doing in Nelspruit and nodded sagely as I stumbled through an apologetic explanation of why I had selfishly abandoned my family to have some time on my own.
“Ah,” he said. “You are going to meet yourself. It’s very important. How else can you meet your husband or your children?”
And right there, I got it. Yes. I was going to meet myself on the beaches of Mozambique. I let out a breath, unaware that I had been holding it since the moment I told Brendan, months before, that I needed a week to myself.
“Now,” said my angel taxi driver. “I will tell you what you must do on your holiday.” He told me about his encounter with a South Sea Island gospel group who had taught him a new saying – Hang Loose. “You must hang loose in Mozambique,” he said, turning to me and lifting one arm above his head as if holding onto a branch, “Like a monkey!”
God I laughed. Yes. I would hang loose. Like a monkey.
“Did you think you would meet someone like me in Nelspruit?” he asked, raising his eyebrows. “A taxi-driving life coach who is also a pastor and sings gospel?”
“No,” I admitted. “This was a surprise.” A wonderful, welcome surprise, and the first of many on that trip and in all the days since.