The last two months in the UK, now that I’m sat back here in Nairobi, seem almost like a blur, like it never happened, like I have just lost two months of my life altogether, but that couldn’t be further from the truth! I have achieved a lot in these last 8 weeks, much more than I anticipated, and despite not really getting out there and seeing everyone that I had hoped for, lots of positives can be drawn from it all.
First off, a surprise collection at Heathrow, when Jess was there to greet my blurry-eyed self as I crossed customs and entered the UK proper. Our friendship has taken a beating since I left, and it was just awesome to see her and sort this all out in a friendly way. I owe her a lot for her support over the years, and have done very little to show her that, so I also made the effort to get to London to her new place in Stoke Newington last month, and even managed to catch up with a few more old faces from uni at the same time. A couple of pints later and on the bus towards Cornwall, it was so nice to be picked up by my mum, and taken back to Grandma’s house. I went to the hospital the next day, and every day that week to talk to her, tell her about my life, and help mum organise her release and final move to the retirement home down in Andover. This is not an easy task for her, and I think she really appreciated me being there to help her. It felt hard enough seeing my Grandma so poorly lying there, I can only imagine what it must be like for my mum, seeing her own mum there. It’s not all over yet, as I know mum is still down in Cornwall sorting out the last bits and pieces before she heads back to Scotland, and she has done an amazing job holding it all together, leaving her own home and losing her job after spending nearly four months away from home. Her new boyfriend David has been more than spectacular in supporting our family through this, so it was really good to finally meet him in Bristol when they popped up for the day. There is more about my Grandma that I feel, and would like to share, but this isn’t the place for that. Those of you who know me, know what’s happening, and that’s enough.
Once I had made my way to Bristol a week later, it was business as usual, with me arriving at Solsoft on a Monday morning, and within 20 minutes I was back in the fray fixing problems and getting stuck into it. This, in itself, was cool to be able to come back and start work straight away, but it is the effects of my own change in myself, my own new perspective on life, which has made my trip back all the more successful. I have an ability to see problems ahead of me, to guide myself through those problems, and to try to avoid those problems repeating themselves, and this ability comes alive when it is to do with computer systems and technology in general. What has happened, without really doing anything other than my normal job, is that I now effectively have corporate sponsorship, with Solsoft set to double my wages for a bit of my time each month. £150 doesn’t sound like much, but with this extra money, my own enterprises and aspirations for my future in East Africa can come alive, as I can now afford to start renting a flat in Moshi or Arusha, and will almost certainly have a decent broadband connection within the next few weeks. A big thank you goes to my colleagues there for spotting some potential in what I do, and their willingness to support me and my endeavours. It would have been very easy to treat the position as a stop-gap, as just another job, paying me money so I can get back out here, but with a little effort, and a little rallying of troops, what I have now, along with my experience in Tanzania, is the potential for this to turn into management, with an opportunity put on the table that will see me taking a step back on the problems of our customers, and trying to identify trends and wider issues that the day to day support team don’t really have time to look for. This is more than just a bit exciting, because it is proof, to everyone around me and most importantly to myself, that I can do this, I am in the right game, and that in doing it my own way, I have found the path for me, that works, and that makes me happy. There is such a thing as having the best of both worlds, having your cake and eating it… however you want to put it, I’m all set for this to be the rest of my life. To quote the Chemical Brothers (as you all know I love quoting artists lyrics)…. It began in Africa.
So I’m back here at Milimani backpackers, where my journey back to the UK began in February. I am sitting here in the same seat, sat next to Snoopy (the hostel’s pet dog) and feel a sense of warmth and achievement that I have never felt before… and this is all just to do with family and work in the UK… when I get back to Moshi tomorrow, the real fun begins.
Enough of this, I need some sleep… the flight was awful, with only 84 people on the airbus A340 (340 stands for 340 passenger capacity) there was space to spread out, but as soon as I stood up to find a seat, I found all the groups of seats had been taken, and the only spaces where I could stretch my legs were the seats they wanted an extra £30 to sit on… but it was fine for people to take the four seat section in the middle… needless to say, I slept very badly, and my neck hurts, so I have a little single bed all to myself, and as soon as I finish my tea and have a shower, I’m getting some shut-eye to ensure I’m ready for the 10 hour bus journey back to Moshi tomorrow…
One final thing to note..I have a new charger for my camera… so my posts are set to be a lot more colourful this time around… watch this space!