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12.04.2020 Leaving on a jetplane. Even without the Covid-19 pandemic, we would have had to say goodbye to New Zealand at the end of April. However, leaving from Christchurch today, on a Lufthansa repatriation flight, feels totally odd. There are places we would have loved to visit towards the end of our stay, and invitations we could not take people up on. We are leaving all of this prematurely. A week ago, right after signing up for the German repatriation programme, we got our gear ready for the trip home. Through social media we found a local tour guide, Brian, who provided us with two cardboard bike boxes. We dismantled and packed up our bicycles, and then waited. We still had not heard back from our government when five days later the embassy announced online that the final flights would leave within the next three days. We waited for one more long day before we were eventually informed that we were on a waiting list, and about 24h later, this morning, we learned that we were stand-by passengers for a flight in the evening. Paul used his neighbour's two-seater ute to get Eva and the boxes and bags to the airport, while Addy went on his final NZ bike ride on one of Paul's three bikes to reach the airport. 17 days in lockdown, many shared meals and evening film sessions, heaps of walnuts as well as a short but clearly noticeable 4.3 earthquake later, our amazing host bid us farewell. After queueing for a couple of hours, we finally got admission to board the plane – being literally two of the final 20 stand-by passengers to be given a ticket. And the long wait is really paying off, as we are now comfortably seated in business class, ready for a 26h trip to Frankfurt via Bangkok. The presence of Lufthansa aircraft in New Zealand is a very rare thing, so both airport staff and flight crew radiate excitement, and we are to leave Christchurch with a lap of honour. Before takeoff, the German ambassador came aboard and via loudspeaker wished us Happy Easter and told us that we are part of a truly historic event. #scoutbound #nz #newzealand #christchurch #repatriation #lufthansa #auswaertigesamt #CHC #BKK #FRA #covid_19 #corona #boeing747 #airbridge #boeing

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