African Anniversary

January 22nd 2017

I cannot believe it is a year since I was in Africa. It still feels like yesterday and I still feel very emotionally invested in it. Is this abnormal? Would I feel this way if the trip had turned out as we planned, and I hadn’t had my wild experience courtesy of the deep blue?

Who knows? I guess it is impossible to answer those questions. All I do know is my altered approach to life and my lack of tolerance for the materialistic ways of western society haven’t returned to pre-trip status. I still chafe, still feel out of place, still wish I wasn’t an operating theatre nurse. I enjoy the work itself and love my colleagues, but the lack of appreciation and the focus on money over staff welfare really grates on me. And the body isn’t enjoying the heavy work so much.

I miss the big African smiles and total lack of judgement. I miss the warmth of people and place, the colours and vibrancy. I am looking for other work, but without retraining and getting a big student loan, it’s hard to find alternative work that is both appealing and pays well enough. I keep looking though!

I spoke with Samira a couple of weeks ago. We are rarely online at the same time. It was wonderful to hear her voice and I confess to having a cry after we hung up. She is in great spirits, with Wayne home for a bit over Xmas, and Bweni  Beach Camp now operational. I’m so pleased for them. Bweni will always have a special place in my heart. I also had a good video chat with Chaps not long ago. Everyone in Lamu is fine and Mary is back there, so I see them on Facebook a fair bit. One of the good things about FB!!

Back home, Summer has been weird, alternately hot and cold – today’s very wet! I stayed home for our Xmas holiday. My boarders went away so I enjoyed the solitude and really shut myself away for the week! Matt & Danny were in Japan, skiing (or in Dan’s case, enjoying the female company!) with a bunch of mates. Matt has been in raptures about the powder skiing. He now believes me! I think he thought I was spinning yarns when I said the same about it in the USA.

In November we did a trip to the Bay of Islands for our birthdays. Mum & Dad were going to come but Dad was crook so they had to bail, which was a shame. Pip & Fizz didn’t get on board anyway, though invited, so it was just me, Matt & Danny, Matt’s girlfriend, Big Rob & my friend, Kerry. Shane joined us for a night. It was great fun and we chartered a fishing boat while there. A beautiful place and I want a return visit.


On February 1st I’m giving a talk in Ashburton, to the Rotary Club.It is the first anniversary of our accident so Chaps and Ali will be very much in my mind. I hope it isn’t too emotional. I daresay a whisky will help!

Pole sana, Ali. Pumzika kwa amani.

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