The Wonderer Wanders again!

Hola everybody.

I must appologise for the lack of blog entries recently. Unfortunately I received some very sad news three weeks back, informing me that my Poppie (grandad) had passed away.
I cannot explain what it was like finding out this shocking news in an email when so far from home. Poppie had been ill for some time and it was always in the back of my mind that something like this could happen, but he was a very intelligent and strong minded man who never let anyone including me know how ill he was. In a funny sort of way I believed he was invincible and was blessed with eternal life. It sounds silly I know, but he was always in good spirits and had a wit that was hard to match even though he was in his 70s. Myself and my sister Eleanor have always been very close to both our Nanna and Poppie, with more happy memories than I could ever count. I have often wondered how I would react and cope with the loss of either of them, when they have both been such big influences in my life.
My reaction has been totally different to what I expected. I am very sad, but i find myself smiling whenever I think of him and some of his antics. One classic was when he used to pull a Barclay Card from his mouth every year when we were eating Christmas pud. Eleanor and i ate our way through so much pud hoping we would get the same!

The hardest thing with receiving the news, was that i was thousands of miles away in Peru, where very few people spoke English. I suddenly felt very isolated and realised instantly that i needed to get home as soon as possible to be with my family. I managed to purchase a return flight to London for a very fare rate on the internet, which would have me home in less than a week. I spent the remainder of that week imersing myself in the teaching as much as possible and it proved to be a great relif in the end. Children keep you on your feet most of the time and constantly do things that either fustrate you or make you laugh. I also hit the town on two occasions with some of the other volunteers and enjoyed myself.
One of my greatest motivations for actually keeping a blog in the first place, was knowing that Poppie was following my adventures on his PC. It was great knowing that he could live the adventure and visit all the great places I was visiting through my writing. We emailed reguarly and him and Nanna even gave me a huge folder last Christmas with a print of every blog I had written, coupled with all the emails I had sent them. What a terrific gift! It is a strange feeling now, knowing that Poppie will not be reading this blog, but I am going to make an extra special effort now in memory of him. Hope I do you proud Poppie!

Soon after embarking on my flight home, i realised why i had managed to purchase it for such a reasonable rate. I had to fly home via the grand ol US of A ( inevitable when flying with Delter Airlines ) and had to change flights twice, before i would land on the concrete strip at Gatwick Airport. My first stop was Atlanta and with 5 hours to kill before my next flight, decided to explore what terminal E had to offer. I managed to find a Mc Donalds and treated myself to a yummy burger and fries that proved extra tasty when comparing it to the potato and rice I had got so used to! Also got chatting to a very chatty business man from Atlanta, who was flying to Hong Kong. My next flight took me to New York City and I even managed a cheeky glimpse of the Manhattan skyline and a tiny green dot that I worked out must of been the Statue of Liberty.The Air Stuardess from Queens didn´t seem overly excited though!

Unfortunately we were stuck on the airfield for what seemed a lifetime and so when we finally dismbarked, i had only 20 minutes to make my connecting flight to London. I managed it no sweat, but my baggage took a shine to the Big Apple and so I realised we were thousands of miles apart when I finally staggered into Gatwick.

I filled out some forms and handed them to a smiling lady who promised that i would be re-united with my pack within 48 hrs and it would be delivered to my door. I actually received it in less than 12 hours after landing. Good work Delter!

Being home was strange, as it always is after you return from a prolonged trip away. Mine had only been 5 weeks, although it seemed a lot longer. It was nice to be back in a comfy bed, eating Mums cooking and watching Eastenders, although obviously it was in sad circumstances. I spent as much time as possible with my Nan and enjoyed some her Sandwiches. They are the best ever!

Poppie´s funeral was on the 18th April and we were blessed with a very warm and sunny day. It all went very well considering and I met relatives I hadn´t seen in a long while.

My flight back to Peru was on the 25th April, which arrived much quicker than I expected. I felt sad leaving Nanna at a time like this, but I know how much Poppie was behind me and so I knew I was doing the right thing.

Corr thats a long one- hope the eyes are ok! We will talk the land of the Llama and Trilby Hat very soon.

Ciou for now

Hasta Pronto

Dan 😀

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