Sail away with me…

I love the sea. Pure and simple. I am always so much happier when I am near it. I financially crippled myself for years to be able to afford to live near it. I nearly died once when I was in it. (Nitrogen bubble in my spinal cord). And the first thing I said when I was properly conscious again, was to ask when I would be allowed to dive in it again. It’s part of me. As much as the blood in my veins. I believe in reincarnation and in truth, I believe a fair bit in magic too.

Perhaps I was a mermaid in another life.

mermaid

When I lived in Uganda, it was bitter-sweet for me most days. As I could see the Lake Victoria from the rooftop, where I would spend time practicing yoga, making skype calls, or simply drinking my coffee and watching the birds fly overhead. But that lake is filled to the brim with Bilharzia and so it was; I could see the water, but I would never be in the water.

IMG_1325

Continue reading “Sail away with me…”

Advertisements

It’s all in the way that you feel.

“I live here, I may as well like it”, I retorted as I discussed the chaos that can be life in Lagos, to my newly-found friend who was visiting me from my beloved Uganda. And herein opened the can of worms that my mind and body has been keeping a rather large lid on.

I haven’t actually been liking it at all. Not inside. Not in my heart. Not in my inspiration.

Was it the fault of Lagos? Was it the fault of the artificiality  I feel from ex-pat lifestyle? Was it the fault of my continued chronic pain? Or was it just not “there”, wherever that happens to be?

Perhaps in fact, it was the fault of the intensive physio program I was ensuring I followed, due to my determination to be fully fit, flexible and mobile, so that I could get my life back…

Continue reading “It’s all in the way that you feel.”

TIA (This is Africa) and It’s Alright…

Each day that passes brings new experience, as is the way of life. But with this also comes the creepings in of adjustment and a deepening of a place called home. I am utterly blessed to feel deep in my core that I have two very strongholds of home right now, though neither of them are where I am currently situated. That said, it also feels like my normality is growing rapidly and I see myself at ease with the development of new languages and my enjoyment of playfulness is returning with this creativity also.

There are times when I notice my breath is out of sync with purpose, that I feel a stranger here amongst the people, not yet fully knowing who my kindred souls are. It has been fascinating however to observe this, as I opted into the state of being T-total for now. This has been with loving kindness to my healing body as it continues to manage the pains and ruptures within my leg, and for preparation of improved health before my pending surgery. Yet with this sobriety comes an adjustment to socializing where the energy can quickly change through alcohol consumption. Thus, whilst I have been once more familiar to this sensation, I have gradually returned to my yoga practice as best I can. (It has been a long journey between the breakages last October and I have greatly felt the loss of this; my body is taut and I have such limited flexion, as my muscles work throughout the hours to keep my leg moving in the ways that I need. Often my back goes into spasm after I have done my physio and it can be a real catch 22 to weigh up the balance). I have sorely missed movement in my life and I have felt very stagnant at times and not as creative as I enjoy to be.

Continue reading “TIA (This is Africa) and It’s Alright…”

What the mind does not want, the eye will never see.

There I was, looking back in the mirror at a reflection I barely recognised. Not through significant outward appearance, but through lack of time spent looking in: through a rapid pace of life rushing past me, rapid adaptations being required, and many commitments to meet. Moving to my new country, aligning myself with my new job, meeting new colleagues and familiars, greeting my mother to my beloved Africa, adapting to my new physio regime, tasting new spices and foods, and so on. It was all happening at a rate of knots so fast that I felt like I was barely remembering to sleep let alone meditate, sit in stillness, reflect, appreciate, calm, ease, or most of all, breathe.

It came as somewhat of a surprise to find myself therefore, looking back at this forgotten woman in the mirror, as she showed a startled look to her face. My mother had just landed back in the UK and had sent a cautionary message.  She advised that I check my Nigerian Visa requirements, in order to be sure that I could travel to my other beloved homelands the following week, as per original plan. The ‘she’ in this, being I, lost all colour to her face.

There I had been, feeling quite calm about my mum’s departure, due to an assertion that I would be seeing others that I loved within the week.Admitedly finances have not been flowing easily but where there is a will there is always a way and I knew that I would arrive to exactly where I needed to be the following week regardless. Therefore I did not think much of the message at all. A whisper in the back of my mind popped up however… so a day or two later I did hunt out my passport, just to double check, before I devised some way of securing an airline ticket.

Lo and behold she was right.

Through having a short-term work permit rather than my permanent one (another story to be told another time undoubtedly), I discovered I am here on a single entry only. Thus, whilst my ex-pat colleagues all around me were telling tales of their travels to come, I found myself there, ashen-faced, looking back at a bewildered face, feeling like the walls had begun to rapidly cave in on me.

Continue reading “What the mind does not want, the eye will never see.”

Now. New in Nigeria.

Life twists and turns in so many ways, and almost a year ago to the day, I interviewed for, and made the final decision of, a move to Uganda, East Africa. Now, in 2017, I move forwards to another moment in time and find myself landing upon a new lily-pad – this time by the name of Lagos, Nigeria. This was a highly unexpected and unforeseen move, for various reasons, yet here I found myself, treading the waters of footsteps that have gone before me …. even those of my late grandfather, who worked in this country (though further along the coast) as an engineer over 60 years ago. In this change of an un-designated and thus un-mapped story of my wanderings, I walked forwards towards a new wabi-sabi; discovery of beauty in imperfection; the acceptance of the cycle of light and death.

IMG_5550.JPG

Continue reading “Now. New in Nigeria.”

Relishing the source of friendship, mother earth, and opportunity

Repeatedly during my time here in Uganda I have pondered upon time, as a transient and inconsistent concept that spans out across moments like lifetimes, and makes others fly past so fast that I have to pinch myself to know whether or not it was real or imagined. With my recent injury and some other hecticness of life and its practicalities, time and I have been embroiled in deep conversation once more.It became clear that I needed to play with it somewhat, in order to celebrate the arrival of christmas in one of the ways I had been wanting; to be with some of my beautiful new (yet old – our souls have known each other for eons) friends, I had to recalibrate the calendar and bring yueltide forwards. Change was yet again on the horizon, as has become the most constant of happenings in my living breath and I was no longer set to be returning to Uganda after December. My heart was aching, yet it was not the time for sadness. Continue reading “Relishing the source of friendship, mother earth, and opportunity”

Spirit of like-minds, beauty and mischief

Many of my weekends in Uganda have been spent on the road; travelling around to seek new sights, meet new people, learn new stories. It is not a bad thing when I also spend time in Kampala however, as I have many friends here and there is much fun to be had.

I have been slowed down, a little against my will, but I have used this as another form of opportunity; I have explored the city in new ways, through friends and mischievious play, and I have also uncovered some hidden gems that many are unaware of.

After the enjoyment of Milege, I found myself with a phone full to the brim of new friends and offers of meeting up to share company, food and time together. Continue reading “Spirit of like-minds, beauty and mischief”

Seizing the day, Sipi-style

Uganda is an incredibly diverse country.  There is some massive wealth here in Kampala, and from those in  the west, (from what I hear; this is the president’s land).  The rainy season has barely touched us here in Kampala, and there are some 50 districts across the country that have people dying from famine due to the arid lands caused by this lack of water.  Meanwhile Ugandan friends in the west send me reports of torrid rainfalls, putting a stop to all best laid plans and causing damage to property and lands.

It fascinates and intrigues me how there can be such diversity in a land-locked country, that in comparison to others, is not that huge in size. In my time here, I have actively sought time and space to explore its different corners as best I can. Sickness put a stop to it for a few weeks, and although I have developed a wonderful community of friends (better named as part of my family in all honesty), I was itching at the bit to get back on the road. Continue reading “Seizing the day, Sipi-style”

A saunter down South…seeing more of the homeland, soaking up more art.

Almost a month ago now, I was blessed to spend time in another part of the continent by visiting some more treasures of this earth in South Africa. I had been invited as part of a birthday celebration and for the opportunity to get to know some wonderful people in person, rather than simply through the form of cyber-space.

Admittedly, the journey began with trepidation on my part, as I had been very ill for the time leading up to it. The flights however were already booked, my health was gradually improving and not only that, when feeling a bit forlorn, what better way to feel significantly better than to go on a holiday and be around loved ones. Continue reading “A saunter down South…seeing more of the homeland, soaking up more art.”

A search for tranquility … a discovery of mishaps

Work has been very busy here, and although I have been used to having a half-term break between the September – December school term, my current workplace here in Uganda does not have that.  So the idea of working straight through from August 15th to December 16th was quite a change to my routine.

Needless to say, when we received a very last minute email to inform staff that we had Monday 12th September off, due to Eid-al-Adha, I felt a huge excitement wash over me and a huge smile landed itself on my face.

img_2539

I began the long weekend with a Braai, enjoying time with new friends as the fire slowly roasted our meat and the smell of delicious tastes wafted through the air. Continue reading “A search for tranquility … a discovery of mishaps”