I am conscious that this will be the last time I write to you before I leave. My internet link is also being cut off at the end of January so although I will be accessing my email, it will be sporadic.
Of course I am excited, but I have also been amazed at the emotional impact of finally knowing I am going and it isn’t necessarily in relation to the children who have been moving towards being well sorted in my absence for the last six months. It’s all about the other things I am leaving behind – my life with FP, my job and other interests like my prison work, the horse ( I still haven’t got clarity about who will look after him) and my home that I have invested the last two years lovingly and laboriously paint stripping and decorating. The downstairs toilet is nearly, nearly fully completed. Last night I rang my friend I in floods of tears totally bemused by why I was so emotional and she reassured me by explaining much of the above in detail and telling me that I would be most odd if I didn’t have those feelings so I feel better! When people ask me how I am feeling, I say ‘excited but a bit scared’, but actually I am not scared, just probably going through a bit of a grieving process.
As a consequence I am not planning fund raising events or good-bye parties. I just don’t think I am in the right frame of mind to deal with them because I don’t feel celebratory. I am reflecting endlessly on where I am at and what lies ahead. I know I will find a new culture and a new job absorbing and fulfilling. I do sometimes wonder what drives me on in this perpetual search for new experiences. I am sure that my planning then probably contributed to the break-up of my marriage and here I am again! Or maybe it’s just about being true to your soul.
Just briefly about the children. J1 has settled very quickly into Arbroath. I think man management has been a bit of a revelation to him. He has had very little training on this aspect, but I think he underestimated how challenging and yet how rewarding he was going to find it. He has just come back from a week’s paid skiing representing the navy. A* has just come back from a week in an all-inclusive luxury 5 star Egyptian hotel and is guns blazing to get a new job and a new flat with J in the next three months. J2 has gone back to Wales, plans to live on campus next year and will stay with FH for holidays as he does already every week-end so he’ll be safe if not particularly challenged!
If I don’t see you before I go please email me. I will try and write once a month as usual and you will be in my thoughts as I lie in my El Salvador hammock with a cold beer. I believe I do get a fridge which presumably works when they have electricity!
I am already looking forward to walking the dog and a long chat when I get back and then we will say, ‘has the time really passed?’ !!!!
Dear Readers – if you want to know what happens next, you need to go to my Cameroon posts under VSO in the menu or buy the ebook! The next post which will be on Thursday 22nd December because of Christmas then jumps to the interim period between my two VSO experiences starting April 2011. Enjoy!