The air hostess wakes me up, asking if I would like some orange juice. I say yes. I yawn and stretch, being careful not to wake up the stranger sleeping next to me. I see a glimmer of light coming through the shutters of the sleepy aeroplane. It's a red light, as if the plane is going through burning fire. It is not fire, it his home.
Once the snoring man wakes up and we say hello, I open the window shutter. At first the light blinds me. I squint. Slowly my eyes adjust to the glorious light. I see clouds. Thousands of clouds that look like a bed of candy floss. But then behind the clouds, far away in the horizon, I see that sun. That sun that has come through my bedroom windows since I was a little girl. Not just any sun, the African sun.
I get butterflies in my tummy, I feel a sense a hope and finally a sense of belonging. I know then that I am nearly home.
I cannot wait. The man next to me asks me if I am ok. I tell him that I am fine. But am I fine? No, I am not. I am in a dream, I am burning with excitement, I want to jump up and down and scream. I AM NEARLY HOME! Instead I sit there looking out of the window like a cheshire cat, waiting for the clouds to part.
Finally they do. The wind gently blows the clouds apart so I can see a glimpse of the African landscape. Just a glimpse is all I need. The vast, untouched open space, the colours that one can only dream of, the green, the red and the yellow. The hints of blue rivers flowing through the wild jungle, I imagine I can see the hippos going into the water for the day and the crocodiles sunbathing on the muddy banks. I can in-visage the lions gracefully moving out from under the trees, looking for their first morning hunt. The monkeys swaying from the branches of the Baobab tree, curiously watching the spiders on the branches. The zebras and giraffes taking their last gulp of water at the watering hole before they go to the grass land to graze and watch for predators.
Untouched. Everything is untouched.
I am finally home. I am back in the place where I belong. The most beautiful place in the world. Africa.