It’s just about a week now until the family leave Mwanza. I’m looking forward to seeing them back in the UK – it’s over three months since I bid my wife and daughter farewell on that twilit Kenyan Easter Monday Morning.

Yet at the same time as I am excited to see them – there is a sadness that it really does mark the end of the Tanzanian adventure.

We have communicated most days  and in spite of the dodgy connection a lot has been video communication (Skype/ FaceTime / WhatsApp). There has been visual contact which has been so important. Even if much of our conversation has lately been dominated by practical issues both here and there it has been good to see into Tanzania through the power of technology (albeit on in a rectangle  only a few centimetres wide).

Alongside all of  this the status updates, photos and videos have enhanced the link. I gave in a sense remained attached to Mwanza by a 4000 mile umbilical cord.



It’s about to be broken!

Already there are signs of change. With the end of term came the end of the steady stream of work related emails, mostly irrelevant to me but providing a connection. Colleagues have dispersed across the globe, interactions are less so status updates reduced. This is natural and non unexpected. Mwanza is no longer a hub, my links with the place will continue to denude.

A week from now the cord will be cut. I will still look on from afar but it will be a place I once lived, a place of memory, a place that will change and grow less familiar with passing years.

In recent months I have re-engaged with Lincoln, and soon will return to Milton Keynes. These places have changed too, more importantly so have I and so will those that went to Mwanza with me.

There is uncertainty in the changes coming – not least as a result of the disease I now battle and the treatment required. The longer term legacy remains unclear, though I remain positive, it is difficult to know where we’ll be three years from now.

All I can predict on this cloudy July morning is that it’s going to be different.

3 thoughts on “Umbilical

  1. Was it Woody Guthrie… (cannot be sure) who sang. ..”the times they are a-changing. ….” ??


  2. Bitter sweet the time you now are living; sweet the memories, bitter the pill you’ve had to take; but hold onto the hope that there will yet be more sweet memories made and the bitter taste will be replaced with more sweetness as the unknown future becomes a known and pleasant place and the bitterness of today a fading memory of things long past which made a new life possible, which you could never have dreamed possible.

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