Incredible Ethiopia

I went to Ethiopia for 2 weeks for a work trip. It was HARD work.

I was delivering 2 back-to-back trainings, which I would normally never do, as it’s exhausting. But you know how it is, end of the financial year, budget to spend, blah blah blah.

I had 1 weekend free in the middle, and was hoping to get out of the city and see something of the rest of the country, as there is SO MUCH amazing stuff here! But sadly in the end I came down with a really rotten cold and had to work all weekend anyway. So I mostly sat in my hotel room, working, which was lame, although I did manage to pop out on Sunday afternoon for a few hours, so I went to the Sheraton Hotel which has a fancy pool and lazed around for a couple of hours.

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Updates

Here’s the mini-round up:

Adoption:

It’s been about 18 months since I started my adoption journey, and about 8 months since I was approved. Child 3 and Child 4’s social workers both said no to me in the end (I just found out today about both).

Child 3 they are moving ahead with another, better match, and Child 4’s Social Workers decided that they wanted 2 parents for him so won’t consider my profile (so in their case it is specifically because I am single).

So round we go again on the merry go round. Continue reading

An Ode to my MacPac…

As I was recently rooting around in my loft for something, I found my big macpac, and realised I’ve had it for 10 years this year. It’s the best rucksack I’ve ever bought, it has a lifetime guarantee, and it’s EXTREMELY well-made, so I thought it was worthy of a little shout-out.

I bought my matching big and little macpacs in 2007, before going to Nepal for a year.

My big macpac has gone with me to Nepal, India, Malaysia, Singapore, France, Liverpool, South Sudan, India again, Nepal again, Kashmir, Oxford, the USA, The Philippines, Thailand, Australia, Iraq, Jordan, Canada, USA again, Australia again, Senegal, Kenya, Iraq again, and Senegal again.

Other than an unfortunate incident once where my Big Mac got ripped in an airport and needed to be patched (I sent it off to macpac and they fixed it up and shipped it back to me), it has held up remarkably well! In Nepal I used to keep it empty under my bed, but padlocked as my passport was in there, and when I lost the key, I had to beg the locksmith to cut through the padlock carefully not to damage the zip!

It’s incredibly comfortable, exactly the right size, and I love that it unzips like a proper suitcase instead of rooting around in a normal rucksack. I also love that you can fold in and zip up the straps when checking it in at airports so they don’t get damaged en-route.

My little macpac has gone with me EVERYWHERE in the last 10 years. It’s literally my everyday bag, it carries my laptop into work everyday, it goes with me on mini-breaks and weekends, and in addition to all of the countries my big mac has been to it has ALSO been with me to Qatar, Madrid, Italy and Switzerland!

Obviously daily use for 10 years has left my little mac a bit grubby, but considering what it’s been through, it’s holding up INCREDIBLY well! It’s even still mostly waterproof, as I learned after a can of tonic water exploded inside it once in the Philippines…

This little bag goes with me pretty much everywhere, is still sturdy and comfy after 10 years, and it zips onto the front of Big Mac (although I hardly ever do that).

So, all in all, as a fairly frequent traveller, I give these bags 10 out of 10 and highly recommend them for your travelling adventures.

🙂

All the places I’ve been

In a recent conversation with my dad, I realised that in his 70+ years, he has travelled to a huge number of countries, (34 and counting!) so I thought it was worth listing all of mine out too to see how we compare!

My dad also pointed out that the majority of his travelling happened in his 20’s and 30’s, as like most people, once you settle down and have kids you tend to travel less often, so here is our combined list:  Continue reading

The Hounslow Triangle

Thursday 7th May 2009

Hello everyone!
Here is the first of my African blogs!

However, before I describe my first impressions of Africa, I’ll have to tell you what a drama I had getting there!
My flight was on Friday, at 9.35pm, and I was due to fly to Addis Ababa in Ethiopia and connect to Juba in South Sudan on Saturday morning.
Having gone through the usual tedious process of Heathrow security, I was reading my book, waiting for them to display the gate number, when a voice on the tannoy system announced “Could all passengers on the Ethiopian Airlines flight to Addis Ababa please go directly to the transit desk.”
Hmmmm, it didn’t sound good. Continue reading