1974 – Durban – South Africa
The palm trees that lined the boulevard on Durban’s Marine Parade brought back memories of her childhood. She had been an avid collector of picture postcards of tropical plants. Being born in the northern hemisphere must have been a mistake, because for as long as she could remember she had had a longing for a warm almost tropical climate.
“Hermien hurry up”
Jan’s irritated tone swiftly took her out of her daydreaming. Her husband hailed a taxi that would take him to the harbor where the oil tanker that he was to join as the first officer was docked.
Her little boy of three sulked from sadness. His father had given him his uniform cap and he wouldn’t part with it. The troubled toddler was both sad and angry that his Daddy was going away. His elder sister very advanced for a five-year old, showed great empathy by holding his hand. She needed to be careful, since she could already pick up her mother’s depressed mood by showing concern.
“Come, daddy needs to go. He will be back soon.” She whispered, not knowing how soon that would be.
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