I’m just sitting on the flight on my way back home to London after an amazing few days in France with the Mengelkamp clan.
I flew in on Tuesday morning after having little to no sleep at all and it has been a constant stream of fun things with the family. We first went on a boat where I can honestly say half of my bodyweight just melted away because it was so boiling hot! After that we headed over to a ranch where they have bulls for razing, not bullfighting, if that makes it any better (hint, it doesn’t). There we got to see how they bring all of the bulls together and then separate four one by one. They were also kind enough to show us how they mark the bulls… Safe to say myself and two of my cousins were “disgusted in the human race”, as one of them described it. We then got to have a lovely dinner in the company of about three thousand mosquitos who decided I was their dinner.
Wednesday was a day for tree climbing and zip lining! Myself, my mother, uncle and three cousins headed off to a place right next to where we were living and spent a solid four hours there up in the trees. It was so much fun! Also very physically challenging and hot, but that’s beside the point now haha! I do however have to mention how proud I am of my mother. She has had vertigo now for a solid twelve years and she cowgirled up and climbed that tree like her life depended on it! And not only a tree, she climbed the side of a bridge, zip lined over a river and, if that wasn’t enough, when we did the hardest/highest course she was at the front of the group leading us like the queen she is! When myself and two of my cousins grabbed the bikes and went home, my mother stayed back with some other Mengelkamps and did yet another course, GO MUM! Wednesday evening was for Colombian food, games and magic as my Colombian aunt’s family came over cooked food for us and then invited us to join them in some very fun games.
Thursday we went to see an old castle. When you put it like that it sounds quite boring but I enjoy seeing old castles, forts and houses, don’t know why… Maybe I just find it fascinating imagining how they would have lived there way back when. Anyway, my parents and I went there with two of my cousins. We climbed up that hill, then up to the castle and climbed in through the ruins of said castle. There was also a little play going on called “the great battle” which was very entertaining, even though we understood nothing because they were speaking french… When we got home we all went for a swim before going to a night market in the next town over.
The last day was Friday. One of my cousins suggested that we went canoeing and so we rallied up the troops and headed off. It took us about 1h to get there, then FOUR hours to paddle through 15km in the burning sun and then 1h back. The ride itself was lovely, there was quite a few rapids so it wasn’t dull at all and we stopped to take a bath every now and then which was greatly appreciated as it was like 38ºC out and not one cloud to be seen anywhere! I’m now a living, walking, human tomato because I’m so sunburned.. Let’s just hope it turns in to a nice tan haha! When we got back to the house and had all applied like five ayers of aloe gel on our sunburns it kind of hit us that it was the last night together and we got kind of sad. Grandma cooked us a lovely pasta dinner and everyone who was left in the house sat down for a family meal before all of us started dropping out and heading to bed.
When we woke up this morning there was just time to pack the last things, having breakfast, saying goodbye and heading off or dad’s head would have exploded. They dropped me at the airport and here I am now, writing this little blog post about my wonderful four days with my family in sunny France.
Us Mengelkamps we’re not blood related, we’re not all born and bread in the same place, we don’t spend every summer and christmas together but we are family. A multicultural, multi-age, ginormous, very weird and odd family, but family nevertheless. I had this conversation with my uncle whilst having dinner the other day, whenever we all get together it’s all so simple and nice. No one has to pretend to be someone they’re not, there is no stress, there is no complications, nothing. So this one goes out to all my aunts, uncles and cousins from all different countries and cultures; to my amazing grandparents who have brought us all together and to my parents and sister, wether you were there this time around or not: thank you for being my family.
Ps. Stay tuned for a lovely video of this holiday over on my youtube channel