In one day my sister was about to get married any I was rushing to get to Bukhara to test the internet lines between South Africa and the Central Asian country of Uzbekistan. At this point I was still in Turkmenistan…
I woke up on the border between Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan and had to wait till 9am when the border open. It was already windy at around 7am which is not a good sign as the wind normally picks up as the hours pass… and it was a straight headwind. I wanted to get to Bukhara that we can test the Skype lines for my sisters wedding.
I rushed through customs, with no big holdups, except for the normal holdup that there is not white people in Africa. Luckily they believed me quicker this time and I was on my way by 11am. Bukhara was only 105km away, but the wind made this an extremely tough day. I took only short breaks and the rest of the time grinding at the speeds of 8 – 13km/h. I made it into Bukhara at around 18:00 and was extremely happy. I found my hostel and ordered my first beer (and alcohol) in three months! Nothing better that an ice cold beer sliding down your throat after a hard day on the bike.
My dad and I test the internet lines and it worked perfectly, but there was nobody at the hostel at this time. I was just happy we had a line and hopefully will be able to do my speech on the wedding. When the hostel filled up there was no internet and my nerves started to rocket through the roof. There was nothing I could do, so I just hoped for the best.
Wedding day has arrived and I think I was more nervous than my sister. The internet was extremely slow the entire day and could not really manage to do anything, except if there is nobody in the hostel.
The past week has been emotionally harder than any other time during my adventure. Not being able to be at my sisters wedding is extremely hard and just thinking about it makes me weep. I was not sure on how I will manage to give my speech, but I was hoping to keep it together for just 5min.
The time had come for my sister to walk down the aisle and I was logged in over Skype. As the bridesmaids came into the church I felt a big lump in my throat and then my sister followed. The moment I saw her I had no control over my emotions. The tears were running down my face… It felt like someone threw me with a bucket of water. Not seeing my family and friends for over a year, all the emotions that builded up, exploded at this moment. I realized again on how much I miss them.
So after 30min they were FINALLY married as we were waiting for years. As the people walked out of the church my sister came to the tablet and we tried to talk, but both of our emotions was just to much to bear. “You look so beautiful” and “I miss you so much” is the two things that I remember came out of my mouth. Man this was hard!!
I was waiting in nerves as the ceremony began. Just 5 minutes, just 5 minutes… thats all I need from this internet connection. So, before I could even go through on what I wanted to say, my dad said its almost your turn… and then it started. We tried to connect, was connected and then the line dropped. This happened two or three times and on our forth attempt I was live. Everything was working as everyone replied on my “” hello hello hello… You here??””
This Skype line was the best it could have been (on their side) as I could not really make out anything over here in Uzbekistan. It was just important that they see me and hear what I have to say… and then I began… My speech was for my Dad & Mom…
Hey hey hey!!!!
I promise Im wearing my best pair of clothes today… which is also the only clean pair and the other pair is dirty. I also talked to my mom earlier and she said I have to brush my hair, but I never done it in my life, so I don’t really know how to do it.
Im gonna start off with a verse from one of my favourite songs and one I have listened to hundreds of time. It comes from the wise words of Cat Stevens – Father and Son
To be calm when you’ve found something going on.
But take your time, think a lot,
Why, think of everything you’ve got.
For you will still be here tomorrow, but your dreams may not….
** For you will still be here tomorrow, but your dreams may not
** For you will still be here tomorrow, but your dreams may not
The Joubert family loves surprises and for the last four months I kept thinking on how I will pull this one off, being at my sister’s wedding, but unfortunately this was not possible and all my surprise plans did not realise this time around.
So, why is the oldest child of the family not at the wedding? Well, Im currently sitting in Uzbekistan and for those who don’t know where it is, its in the middle between Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan…. And yea… These countries actually exist and Im planning to go through most of them in the next few months. Last year I thought it would be a good idea to grab my bicycle and cycle through all the continents.
Im not gonna go into much detail, but just gonna give a quick recap on the last 17 days :
– So its been 17 days from Tehran (Iran) to Bukhara (Uzbekistan) which consisted out of 1800km
– I had the opportunity to take one shower
– My meals consisted out of 15 cans of beans, 17 cans of tuna and lots of cookies
– Temps were between 35°C and 50°C during the warmest time of the day
– Most of the days the wind was blowing the sand across the road and mostly directly at me, which meant I ate more sand than cookies. I was lucky to have water to flush the sand down… water that was the perfect temp for a perfect cup coffee.
So why am I doing this??
Why am I the happiest I have ever been??… Because Im living my dream…. And this is where my Mom and Dad comes in…
Our parents taught us not just through words, but also by being a good example and becoming my role-models.
They taught us about:
– Love for our family, friends and also other people
– to trust people
– forgiveness and faith
– to be ourselves
– have respect for others
– enjoy life
– appreciate things we have in life
– to be social…..
– NEVER TO GIVE UP and
– never to judge people on the color of their skin, beliefs, where they are coming from and what they have or don’t have in life
But what I want to talk about is some of the other important things they taught us:
1. To provide us with freedom
2. take chances in life
3. having dreams
4. and again… never to give up
There was a time in life where they have been more directly involved in our decisions, but they knew exactly when to let us go. They provided us with freedom… It was time to make our own decisions even if it was not the correct ones at the time…
** There is no such thing as failures, only lessons to be learned **
It does not matter what choices we made, they were always there to support us. Does not matter what happened, we could go to them to ask for advice and help.. they always gave us great advice. Our parents would do anything for their children.
Does not matter what we were taught and when it was, at some point in life we knew exactly what to do and what to do with our life lessons.
Look at the bride today….
– Everybody please look at her… She is so happy! She currently has her dream job and is doing exactly what she always dreamt of doing
– She is one of the friendliest, maddest and most loving people I know
– and today she married the perfect person… The perfect life-partner for her
… and well, and Im the happiest I’ve ever been and living my dreams. Willie and Drikus is also currently working toward theirs!
The kind parents we have as children are very rare and are blessed to be able to… CALL THEM OUR PARENTS!!!
All the life lessons will stay with me the rest of my life and will carry it over as Im going through life. I want to take the opportunity to thank both my parents again for what they have done for their children as well as other people around them.
I want to ask everybody to stand up, raise a glass and cheers on Willem- and Wilna Joubert…. My Dad and Mom!!!
The speech was done and everything went smoothly. I was so happy after the long wait and worries that it finally worked out.
It was a hard cycle to get to Bukhara, but was so worth it. Even if I was not there in person, there was no chance that I would miss my sister’s wedding!
It was not very long after the speech when the internet line got so bad that I could not make out anything when people was speaking to me from Bloemfontein and had to say goodbye… so I pressed the red telephone button on my computer screen and they were gone. I was back in Uzbekistan on my own and I felt more lonely than any other moment on the adventure.
I went outside, drank two beers and thought about the great family I have. After the two beers I went to my room and went to sleep. I was so glad my sister was finally married 🙂
I was now taking a few days off in Bukhara and will then continue through the rest of Uzbekistan where I will be faced with rocks being thrown, bad roads, closed borders and lots of detours!
Cheers for now…
** All the photos in this blog was taken by Lucia Brink at 13 DarkRoom Avenue in Bloemfontein **