I have been encouraged to write this blog by my friends and colleagues as I spend a year volunteering my skills to schools and organizations in India and Cambodia. I have never been a diarist – I always have great intentions and many little notebooks and diaries are stored in my loft, full of the first week of a travel experience and then they peter out – I hope that this attempt will make me more motivated to record my experiences.
I originally trained as a parasitologist and through my work on WHO projects on the control of river blindness, was fortunate enough to travel widely in West Africa, Sudan and Ecuador. I also spent 18 months at the ANU, Canberra and 2 years at CIRMF, Gabon. These experiences fuelled my enthusiasm to travel and I have always enjoyed the thrill of going somewhere new and working with other people -the smell of aviation fuel still excites me.
In 1990 I purchased a small farm in the Alentejo, Portugal and moved there with my partner and baby son. It was a tough life, raising a child, learning a new language, running the farm and establishing a new business venture. For the first 3 years I taught English in an academy in Badajoz, Spain and this gave me great teaching experience.
In 2005 for economic reasons and to continue my son’s education in the UK, I sold the farm and returned to England. My partner and I had separated in 2000 and so I had to re-establish myself back into English life and find gainful employment. When you have been self-employed for 15 years, potential employers look at your CV with some suspicion. However, I was fortunate enough to be taken on by a company in a business support role and developed this role for over 12 years. At the end of April 2017 I retired and so here I am on my travels. Let us see what unfolds in the next 12 months. I look forward to receiving your comments.
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