It was a very exciting day for me when we went to Heathrow. I had missed Matt dreadfully and was looking forward immensely to seeing him as he came through the Arrivals Gate, so much so that I squeezed between as many people as possible to make sure that I was standing directly in-line of the doors so that I would see him at the first opportunity! Top that off with his superb A-level results and the knowledge that he had attained his place at St. Edmund Hall – what more can I say … by the end of the day my heart was almost bursting from love, pride, and the simple joy of seeing him return home safely and in one piece!
This really is the last entry in Matt’s journal about his trip to Africa. I hope you have all enjoyed reading it as much as I have transcribing it. Thanks again to all of you who contributed your photos, helping bring Matt’s words even more to life. As Matt succinctly says at the end of his journal:
“That brings me to the end of this journal so goodbye and see you soon!”
“While my journal was being passed around for signing, we were also secretly passing around cards for Andy and Craig for people to write thank you notes on. These we presented on arrival at Heathrow along with some whisky for Andy and some port for Craig which was bought in duty-free when I bought my amarula. Whilst reclaiming our baggage we discovered that Gavan’s bag had been left at Doha and would arrive with the next plane. We made our way to where everyone was waiting for us and were greeted with big smiles and waves. I was wheeling Adam in a wheelchair and he had bandages all over him – all fake to play a prank on his mom! We exchanged hugs and final goodbyes and set off for home.
Chris came in my car and as it was results day we were anxious to get home. We ended up stopping at Oxford services and by chance running into Gavan who also stopped there. I had the K.F.C I promised myself on the mountain and it was fantastic.
Checking my e-mails on my phone I discovered that I have been accepted at Oxford University for a 4 year engineering course! The icing on the cake was going into school and finding out that I had got all A*s in my A-levels – all that hard work paid off.
I called Kate and met her and my friend Richard at the school gates. We went for lunch, then Kate and I came back to mine and I gave out my presents which were well received. The bow and arrow made it back in one piece (one piece each at least) and my painting wasn’t terminally crumpled as I had feared.
We went out for a curry to celebrate coming home but I was so tired I only really touched it and we took home a large bag of leftovers. Completely exhausted, I was asleep before my head hit the pillow marking the end of my adventure.
I have had such a fantastic 4 weeks and have learned so many life lessons. I want to keep travelling and hopefully one day I will have as much experience and as many stories as Craig to share with my grandchildren!
That brings me to the end of this journal so goodbye and see you soon!”