Carbon Footprints…

One thing you learn to accept as an aid worker is that you are never going to have a small, or especially environmentally-friendly carbon footprint. There are just too many flights involved! Not only do I travel to far-flung and exotic places for work, and then generally want to take holidays around the general area of wherever you happen to be, but I also have family in the UK and Australia that I try to visit once in a while, and a lot of friends having fabulous destination weddings at the moment in places like Canada and France! I think 2015 might turn out to be a record-breaking year for me in terms of flights and travel, as I look back at everywhere I have been this year, and am simultaneously busy planning both work trips and holidays for the coming months. I’ve decided to map it out compared to last year, which was also quite travel-heavy….

2014: I can’t remember how many internal flights I did in the Philippines, but if I had to guess I’d say

  • Tacloban – Cebu – Tacloban x 3?
  • Tacloban – Manila – Tacloban x 3?
  • February/March: Tacloban – Cebu – Sydney – Perth – Cebu – Tacloban
  • May: Tacloban – Manila – London – Manila – Tacloban
  • July: Manila – Phuket – Manila
  • November: Tacloban – Manila – London
  • December: London – Sulaymaniyah (Iraq)

Total countries visited in 2014: 5 (Philippines, UK, Australia, Thailand, Iraq)


  • February: Erbil – Amman – Erbil
  • May: Erbil – London – Vancouver – London – Erbil,
  • July: Sulaymaniyah – London
  • August: London – Geneva – London
  • September: London – Madrid – London
  • December: London – Bangkok – Phuket – Chiang Mai – Bangkok – Sydney – Melbourne – Sydney – Bangkok – London

Total countries visited in 2015: 8 (Iraq, Jordan, UK, Canada, Switzerland, Spain, Australia, Thailand)

Phew! What a lot of travelling!

It’s annoying me that I’ve only just thought of signing up for some frequent flyer air miles! Ah well, better late than never…


In honour of returning home (and due to the fact that my local swimming pool has now been shut down, meaning I have to hike all the way to Blackbird Leys now if I want to swim), I have finally taken the plunge and bought a bicycle!

Her name is Clarissa and she’s beautiful. She was 50% off in the student back-to-school sales, and she’s very ladylike – nice low bar, and a basket and everything!


She will now be accompanying me as I wobble about on Oxford’s roads – drivers beware!

🙂 Continue reading

New job…

Well, the funemployment was extremely short-lived!

I think I mentioned in a previous post that I was having a bit of a job dilemma, and after thinking long and hard about it, I decided to take the short-term gig in Oxford. It will be great for my CV (it’s an extremely well-respected NGO Consortium) and it’s only 4 months, plus it will give me a chance to see a bit more of my friends and family for a little while, and remind everyone what my face looks like etc.

It’s a really interesting job, and I’ll get to travel to Nicagarua and Burkina Faso for some learning events I’m organising on cash and livelihoods, as well as going to Madrid for some project meetings, and I’ll be recruiting and managing a bunch of consultants delivering various projects.

So, it’ll be nice to be home for a little while, and spend some time with my lovely cats, and I plan to go overseas again in January.

Another interesting and fun thing is that since I took this job, I have been asked to interview for at least 3 other jobs that I applied for, so it’s a relief to know I’ve reached a place in my career where I can relax and breathe a bit, and not have to worry too much about being unemployed! One major NGO wants to put me onto their register/roster of emergency people (I’ve so far done an HR interview, technical test and technical interview….) and another NGO I applied for a job with wanted an interview, but I said that I’d already taken a job and wouldn’t be free til January. They came back and said they might have found some short-term cover for the post if I was still interested in taking the job in January? So they might hold the job for me! However that one’s in Afghanistan, so I’m still mulling….

And then today yet another NGO wants to interview me for their roster! I’ve got so many interviews lined up I barely have time for my new job! AND this one wants to fly me to Norway for a face-to-face interview! Quick mini-break to Oslo here I come!

It’s nice to be back in the office, seeing lots of friendly faces and remembering all the little ups and downs of open-plan office environments. Should be fun!