Every now and then it seems I fall behind on blogging for a little while and then life changes happen and I have a lot to catch up on. This seems to be one of those times…
I last blogged in early May. What a lot has happened since then.
I finished my one year contract a few weeks later, in mid-May. What a year it had been: from 3 day road-trips to expeditions up active volcanoes, from hearing about unbelievable suffering to learning to positive in every situation, from dancing in the villages to the mundane office days, from watching footie with the Bishop to relaxing at the edge of lake kivu, among other things.
So many unbelievable stories, so many lessons learnt. Friends made, food (some more interesting than others) eaten, music danced to, life lived well – even in the ‘jungle’.
DR Congo, you were exhausting, enthralling, frustrating, wild and perhaps the greatest adventure yet.
I am so glad to have had the opportunity to spend a year in Goma. I don’t think I’ll see a place as beautiful as eastern DRC again: it’s untamed and magnificent and gives a whole new understanding of the word breathtaking. But, one year on, I was ready for change. Much as I will greatly miss the friends I made and warm and friendly people I met, and much as I have a new found respect and awe for creation, I can’t say I became attached to the place in a way I have done with other places.
I was ready to move on.
So mid-May I said my goodbyes, packed up my room and travelled to Nairobi, where I spent a few weeks with friends, travelling to lake Elementaita and to Kakamega inbetween resting, processing my year in the DRC and preparing for the new adventures ahead.
I came back to UK for a few weeks mid-June (sorry if I missed you!), spent precious time with family, and then, on 1st July, I started a new job with Send A Cow. If you haven’t heard of them, you should really look them up because they do some incredible work in sustainable livelihoods (so much more than just sending cows) across Africa. I’ve joined the Kenya team (hurrah, back to Kenya!!) as the Programme Funding Officer. So, I started with a 3 week induction in Bath before heading to Nairobi (follow up on work permit…) and now Kakamega where their head office for the Kenya program is. I’ll be here in Kakamega for another month or so, getting to know the projects inside out, and know the team well, before heading back to Nairobi where I’ll be based.
I’m super excited to be working for Send A Cow – from the little I’ve seen so far I’ve been so impressed. Ask me more if you’re interested. And I’m super excited to be back in Kenya – the country that won my heart back in 2004, which I’ve called home for the past 4 years (yes, home – that’s a blog for another day) and where I’ve missed friends. I’m also super excited, not least because I get to spend more time with this one:
Hughine’s been a good friend since we first met in 2011, and more than that since September last year. It was a long time coming for both of us, but I think I can say worth the wait. He’s been so patient, he’s generous and has a big heart to match his big smile. Living in DRC and only getting to see each other on my R&R breaks every couple of months was challenging but taught us a lot. Even so, I’m really looking forward to living in the same country, and, in a few short weeks, even, finally, living in the same city again!
So, what else can I say, other than Watch This Space?!! Once again, new adventures… And they only seem to get better!