Africa

One step back, 2 steps forward!

I feel like I am just emerging from a very long tunnel of editing and walking through the aftermath of 2019! As you may know from my previous blog post, we’ve been through some hard times in the last few months! From tragedy and loss, to situations that meant little or no sleep at all and a number of challenges that linger on today. Plus there was the usual hustle and bustle of Christmas!

I feel like I’ve limped into January, bruised and battered and am ready for a lucky break on some tropical island! I’m not looking for any sympathy here folk! Though it’s been difficult and I have been into some ‘dark places,’ it’s bringing about good changes and that makes me a winner!!! While sitting and editing (if you are a photographer you will understand) I have had A LOT of thinking time! A lot of time to think about what has been happening in my life, what is changeable and what must be let go. I’ve had a whole lot of time to think about ‘being true’ to myself. And how to go forward with that. That is how this difficult time has gifted me. I’ve got clarity, motivation and courage to be and do things differently. I’m excited for this new year and this new decade! I’m a little late, but BOOM, my new year just started today!

I have not posted many blog posts recently simply because I have been busy with a number of photography projects that I have needed to complete. In this busy December period, I also got the incredible opportunity to go to Senegal. It was a very quick trip with many hours in the air, but it was my first taste of West Africa and so very interesting! It came at the perfect time and sometimes a simple ‘change’ of scenery is as good as a break! It really fired something up in me that made me think of this blog and why I started it.

This blog was not started because I have an interest in photography or writing and wanted a platform and subject to be creative about. This blog is an expression of me. It’s my thoughts, my discoveries, my personal challenges, it’s a slow and steady, winding journey called ‘my life!’ Its where I get to think about my experiences and process them, where I get to be vulnerable by sharing some of the things that happen and it’s a platform that motivates me ‘to step forward in a direction.’

I started this blog when living in Mozambique. These years of blogging opened a door into a world that was not mine or that was completely different to mine. I learned about what life is like for the Mozambican, their every day experiences, their culture, their food, their challenges, their beliefs and their politics. But most of all, I learned about humanity – what it is to be human. My time in Mozambique was happy, though intense and raw. It was a time that I was able to get close to the people and situations I was photographing and writing about. I learned an important life lesson. Despite our differences – be it race, nationality, status, beliefs, opinions, or religions, we share the ‘human condition.’ We share the need for love, we share fears, hopes and dreams. We share the need for safety and security and we all face mortality. Though we are different in so many ways, our humanity is what connects us. We are different but we are not.

These formative years of my ‘Africa far and wide’ blog are when I felt closest to ‘my purpose,’ as cliched as that sounds. And while I feel the latter years happened the way they needed to, I am now at a point that I can continue as I have been or recognize what really makes my heart beat the loudest and take action.

Photography-wise I have a clear direction in mind. I will be focusing on agriculture, smallholder farmers and humanitarian organisations/ projects in Africa. I would like to do less of everything else and to make space and time for the photography that I love to do. I want to fill up my world with experiences, people and projects that serve my purpose and help me grow.

And then of course, comes my blog Africa far and wide. I’d like to spend more time here. Because ‘this place’ helps me move in the right direction! I want to get back to my blog roots! Get back into documenting people’s stories and lives, and perhaps shine a light on our ‘similarities,’ opposed to our differences. To tell you the story that ‘humanises’ us, the story that we can relate to, the story that moves us to be compassionate human beings.

I have dug deep into my past photo albums and pulled out a few images that resonate and that are in line with my new decade and a renewed direction. I salute these next 10 years – they will be about being true to myself!!!

Pineapples for sale in Mozambique

Thank you for your support and your following. Knowing you are there, helps me feel that I am not completely loopy and on my own mission, that there are folk out there who might share the same thoughts, feelings and interests! Happy belated 2020 everyone!

11 replies »

  1. You wrote “Though we are different in so many ways, our humanity is what connects us. We are different but we are not.” Which is what I’ve learned in my nearly 70 years. And is the story you are telling in your photographs. 8,000 miles away from you, they show me it is just the same as Africa. Like you, I belong to the land where I live. For all the parts I don’t like about America, I am an American. Just as you are an African. Military service and business took me to Europe and Asia. And I think if I could wave a magic wand and set a dinner table with you and some friends from Beijing, Glasgow, Tokyo, Paris, Toronto and Raleigh, we’d get along just fine and have nearly identical stories about family. Your work has grown as you’ve put the work into it. Keep going. The story you are telling is well told and important.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Brooke, I love that this blog gives me the opportunity to connect with people like yourself across the pond! Your messages are always so thoughtful and really are an encouragement for me. Thank you.

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    • Thank you Suzanne – I’m looking forward to it! Have always enjoyed the blogging community and love that I get to connect with people across the continent! Happy 2020 to you!

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