If you wanna be my lover…

BREAKING NEWS…

We now officially have our very first ALL FEMALE run demining programme!

And even better…I’m getting a first hand piece of the action as one of the 2 females on this ‘history making’ programme (it’s making history in our organisation anyhow!)

Knowing the slightest thing about the guys I work for, you will know just how ground breaking this news is! I might have mentioned once or twice, we are a little ‘male heavy’ when it comes to personnel…so this really is ‘one giant leap…’

I’ve got my programme manager, DH, to thank for it really. She has spent many an hour fighting with the powers that be for her place at the top. She’s quite a force to be reckoned with so I’m more than happy to be her 2nd in command.

I tell you though…with an all girl management team and our female demining teams out on the ground here in Moz, those old boy dinosaurs back at HQ better watch their backs.

Girl power is back!!

 

p.s HUGE thanks for all your messages, prayers, flowers, chocolates after my bout of icky malaria. I am now back on track in Moz and fighting fit (although with a slightly ‘rotund belly’ shall we say from scoffing all those chocs before Ma and Pa got their paws on them!)

Pesky parasites

So I’ve been a little incommunicado recently…I have good reason!

Having left South Africa full of the joys of soon to be seeing the family plus absolutely convinced that now I had cracked sandboarding that snowboarding would be a breeze (!), I arrived in France feeling rough.

The next day I felt even more rough and the next day I announced I was officially dying. Something was wrong.

So without having even stepped foot inside the ski hire shop I headed back off the mountain and down to the doctors.

4 hours later this was to be my home for my weeks skiing holiday…

pict0178

I was admitted into Grenoble hospital with a pretty rough case of malaria. I’m not sure they get many cases of malaria 1000m up in the french mountains!

Apparently the family had a jolly nice holiday skiing and I met them at the airport to fly home without so much as even dipping my toe in the snowy waters of Oz en Oisans finest blues and reds!

I remember once half-joking with a fellow aid worker that you’re not a proper aid worker until you’ve had malaria…apparently I need to be more careful what I say!

3 peaks and more

 l1000925

Running out of time to fit in my annual leave I decided to tag on a week ahead of my planned family ski holiday and pop down to South Africa. Back to Cape Town.

This time a rather generous friend had offered the loan of their rather beautiful flat, which is always nicer than being stuck in a souless hotel.

The South African’s are well known for their love of outdoor pursuits so ‘when in Rome’ as they say! There is an annual race in Cape Town called the 3 peaks…a race summitting the 3 mountains for Cape Town quel surprise…Devils Peak, Table Mountain and Lions Head.

devils-peak-table-mountain

Sadly I wasnt around for the real deal but the whole thing sounded rather fun so I decided to create my own version!

devils-peak-summit

Now, they manage to fit it all in one day which involves a sunrise start time…I’m keen but not THAT keen…but not wanting to seem too feeble I decided to split it over 2 days but add in an extra ‘peak’…the 4th (much MUCH smaller) Signal hill.

the-12-apostles-from-table-mountain

lions-head-summit

It was all good fun although full respect to the guys who do this in one day – after peak 2, Table Mountain, I was ready for a stiff drink and a good feed rather than being up for climbing peak 3!

lions-head-from-table-mountain

maclears-beacon-table-mountain-summit

All in all the whole week was utterly fantastic. South Africa really is such an utterly brilliant place. Other highlights…an open air sunset concert in the botancial gardens,

kirstenbosch-sunset-concert

pancake day in the sunshinepancake-day

a rather boozy wine tour and a day of sandboarding!

at-the-start

What a riot sandboarding is…you hike up the side of a sand dune, strap a plank to your feet and point your board down the dune….then off you go. At the bottom, unstrap your feet and start climbing again (no chair lifts here!)

on-the-way-up

 

total-wipe-out

There were plenty of spectacular wipe outs and it’s just incredible the places you find sand literally days after ‘riding the dunes’