Some of my friends say that I am mad. I have never really agreed with their verdict. Ok, I may be a bit quirky and eccentric, but this is simply an expression of my creativity. Well, most of it is - I confess that I rip out the ad pages in magazines and recycle them straightaway, so that the magazines are a few grams lighter when I carry them...
But back to my friends’ verdict. I am beginning to wonder whether they could be right...
It all began innocently enough. Our volunteering trip to Colombia fell through, so I was looking for an alternative holiday. I thought maybe we could do a spot of volunteering in Kenya, and I would finally see the country where AH grew up. I also wanted to add on a few days of safari – but then the project kind of expanded in my mind (partly because AH was moaning that he found safaris pretty boring and wanted to do some watersports...)
Suddenly I really wanted to experience Africa and began to investigate three-week overland trips all the way from Victoria Falls to Nairobi, which would include some “participatory” camping.
“And what’s so mad about this?”, the adventurous among you may ask.
Well, it may not be mad for you, but for me it is.
The smallest issue is the camping itself. I have camped. Once in my friend’s back garden and then in Toscany for about 2 weeks. AH is a gentleman and so is willing to do more than his share should I have difficulty erecting our tent.
But I know that there are some things I cannot avoid on this journey: Heat, creepy crawlies and mosquitoes, unpredictability, discomfort, long journeys, the occasional cold shower and squat toilets. Basically, the opposite to what I like.
I like my environment bug-free without having to resort to chemical warfare. To be honest, I don’t like any animals up close and personal. (One of the holiday reps I e-mailed told me about hearing the lions roar while camping in an unenclosed camping site. He honestly seemed to think this would sell the trip to me!!!)
And did I mention my preferences for things being moderately predictable and on time? And the joys of hot showers and cosy, clean bathrooms?
Do you now see why I may – no will! - have a problem travelling in rural Africa?
Yet I still really want to go.
This is either complete madness, the signs of a midlife crisis (after all I am now 22 twice over) or a God-inspired project.
Why would God want me in Africa? I haven’t got a clue. You will have to ask Him, as I have so far been unable to make sense of this alien desire. If you get an answer, would you please let me know? And I hope that God’s answer is NOT: “Oh, she is just mad.”