A visit home

Meeting my loved ones

When we sold the house I knew a big part of my home was now gone. So I was always curious to see what it would be like to return home after sailing away.

In March, 3 weeks ago, the time had finally come. After two – thanks to Covid – failed attempts, I was able to fly this time. From Guadeloupe via Paris to Frankfurt. With 4 PCR Covid tests, one antigen test and countless forms in my pocket, I set off. When it comes to administration, the French really are world champions.

In Paris we were checked. Are all the forms correct? How old is the Covid test? Etc. It was a 9-hour flight to Paris. And then another 9 hours layover, before the short flight to Frankfurt. When the plane landed in Frankfurt at 11 pm, unbelievably, no one was there. Not even the covidtest, which was not required for Paris but for Frankfort, had to be shown. It was simply no check and that is not a complaint. After such a long journey, I was happy to get into a rental car and off to my loved ones.

In the morning I was the surprise of the day. Hannah and Henri didn’t know I was coming. Henri jumped up and down with joy and gave me what felt like 1000 hugs. Hannah brought her whole room with her to show me everything she had made and painted. I had 14 days with the two of them. I was able to read to them without Zoom, skype etc., practise the piano with them, play with them and marvel at all they have learned since we said goodbye in August.

I was also able to finally see my mum again – the first time over a year – thanks to her vaccination. A real feeling of happiness to see family and friends. Eating pizza in the garden with Rike and Stephan, Sabine my former neighbour, and following the old tradition: “Flieten and Viez” (chicken wings and cider)  with Thommy and Birgit.

Kinder HannahsnotenKinderHannahK HannahRikeStephanThommyBirgit

My loved ones are not well, I often thought. Covid has left deep traces. Loneliness, mistrust of others, anger at those who don’t play by the rules and a lack of understanding for the “confusion of measures”.

And the hope, so often disappointed, that everything will soon be over. Which, by the way, was already palpable when we still lived in Grevenmacher last year.

Now I’m back here, with Holger, in the sun, in the warmth. Here, where people are not quite so critical of each other. Here, too, there is a curfew from 7 pm., following the french mainland regulations. Most restaurants don’t even open and the shops stay closed. Its ok for a limited amount of time, we have everything we need.

Actually, during my journey home, it was the plan that the boat was to be equipped with more solar panels, another lithium battery and a few knick-knacks. But that also turned out differently than I had hoped. After some time Holger found out: all the material is not even in shipping. It is in Le Havre and here our supplier shrugs his shoulders.

We were supposed to be on our way south by now. A little time for Dominica, and then to the Grenadines. Now we’re stuck here. And waiting. Supposedly everything is supposed to be shipped tomorrow and be here on May17. Then it’s really getting tight. We have written off the season and are hoping for next year. Without Covid, with vaccination and with suppliers who are more reliable than Fred Marine in Guadeloupe.

Now I’m trying to spend the time wisely, continuing writing the children’s book, some short stories, illustrating, working a bit. Playing the piano and always happy to have been able to travel and hug my treasures.

I miss you already / Karin Binz


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