Recent events…

March 13, 2011

I took a trip a few years ago that was meant to change my life. Suffice to say, it didn’t really, but that doesn’t take away how great it was and it DID change me for a while and every now and then I think of it and try and remember how I had changed when I came back to the UK.

I decided to go to Malawi because I needed some direction in my life, I am pretty highly strung and at the time felt like I was very much on the cusp of a nervous breakdown. My grandparents lived and worked over there before I was born so we have a bit of family history with the place. That history made it an obvious choice of place to begin my travels. I volunteered alongside a good group of people, teaching children and mopping up minor and some not so minor wounds. I saw hoards of pregnant women flock to the local hospital to give birth, some on the floor and some who didn’t even make it that far.

Life in Malawi was hard. The hardest kind of life you could imagine, education is not free, disease is rife and yet everywhere we went, people stopped us, said hello, asked how we were, sometimes walked with us for miles before turning back towards their original route. They were the happiest people I have ever come across. This all meant, that when I came home, I was for the first time in years, able to relax and appreciate my life. Unfortunately, over time, you forget how a place like that made you feel. You forget how it changed you and you become wrapped up in your own little world of money and jobs and bills and getting drunk at the weekends and leaving assignments till the last minute, forgetting that someone, somewhere would give their right arm for the work you begrudgingly carry out.

I posted a few weeks ago, just a photo of me and a little boy who walked with me through a village clutching my hand and asking me questions as best he could. I must try and remind myself, that i have four months off this summer and that time should be used to do something good again. So I can remind myself, how good life is here.

Thinking of all those people in Japan, who have lost their family, friends, homes, offices, belongings, lives.

If your life is easy, be forever grateful.

For Calvin, the little boy that didn’t want to let go.

 

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