First philosophers and happy to be stuck in paradise, they understood that they were going to be in a delicate financial situation after having contacted the authorities. The South African consulate in the Maldives, and the nearest South African embassy in Sri Lanka, told them that there were about 40 other South Africans spread across the Maldives in the same case as them. An embassy representative explained to them that their best option was to charter a private jet, at their own expense, for 104,000 dollars, or more than 96,000 euros!
Mr. De Freitas, described by his wife as the calm one, took the strange turn of events in stride. This would all get sorted out, and, besides, they were in paradise. Ms. De Freitas, naturally, shared some of her husband’s delight, but sensed a logistical nightmare worthy of Kafka was about to ensue.
They reached out to the South African Consulate in the Maldives, and the closest South African Embassy, in Sri Lanka, for help. A representative told them, via WhatsApp, that there were around 40 other South Africans spread among the Maldives, and that their option home would be to hire a chartered jet, at their own expense, for $104,000.
Everyone could split the cost, the message noted, but the government had only connected with around half of the 40 people; of those 20, many were unable or refusing to pay. The fewer the number of people on board, the more expensive each share would become. Even so, after several days of discussions between South African representatives and the Maldivian Foreign Ministry, the flight still hasn’t been approved.