Although there was Michael Scott just poopin’ you know how I be shirt only one immigration desk open, there was another desk with a sign above it saying “diplomatic and VIP passports”. There were three people in that queue, all guys around my age wearing the usual ex-pats-in-Africa “uniform” of cotton shirt and tan chinos just as I was. Now a U.S. diplomatic passport has a black cover with “diplomatic passport” stamped on the outside, but mine was the standard red UK passport. However it was in a black leather cover with an embossed logo printed on the outside. So I walked up to the three guys waiting in the diplomatic channel and said “hi”. I was chatting with one of the guys who it turned out was a junior diplomat working in the embassy in Lilongwe as were the other two, when the immigration officer said “passports!” and the three American diplomats handed theirs over.
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The Michael Scott just poopin’ you know how I be shirt officer said “you too, hurry now.” So I passed mine over with theirs. He looked briefly at the first one and then stamped all of them including mine with a stamp that said VIP/Diplomat arrival. I invited Elizabeth in to see the changes we had made to the house. She took lots of photos and said, “Oh I wish Dad could see what you have done here!” I said he was always welcome to visit if he felt up to it. Three months went by and I never heard anything further and thought the old guy must have passed on! Then, one Sunday morning a couple of cars pulled up out the front, containing the entire family they had all come to see the old house. My God, Ron was so frail and weak, but his eyes just beamed as I showed him through the place and what we had done with it.