The first day working day on arrival in mission, as you can imagine was full of a variety of thoughts and feelings. We did not know anyone, we were not sure what to expect, we did not fully appreciate the working conditions, therefore, at an early stage it was absolutely crucial to start creating those professional and personal relationships with trusted international colleagues. My blog has I think demonstrated many times the importance of such bonds.
So, going back to that first day, I recall with absolute clarity being introduced to our new office at UN House. A large office, shared with colleagues from Sweden, Bosnia, Albania, Holland, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Nigeria and Zambia. Loveness (the feature picture this week) did not shake my hand on first meeting, she hugged me, with a big grin on her face. She made me feel so welcome and I took an instant liking to her, knowing that she would be a good colleague and friend to our team. Every day since that first day, she did the same, we greeted with a hug. On Tuesday of this week, it was announced that Loveness had died. We understand she had been ill from late September but were told she was recovering, so this week we faced sadness and shock. So for me personally, I wanted to ensure this week that blog readers know just a little about our colleague Loveness, the fact that she was doing what we are now doing, working away from her family and daughter, in difficult conditions to help others and actually, she did make a difference to those in need, most specifically, the most vulnerable amongst the communities here. The British contingent here send their deepest sympathies to the family of Loveness and we would want them to know that she was respected, much loved by many and will always be remembered.
One incident this week was in stark contrast to the bitter news of the death of Loveness, in fact, I was probably afforded the biggest laugh I have had since I arrived in mission. Dean is going to talk about it on his blog, but needless to say, I am very much involved as is Fatmir, our Albanian guest blogger from a few weeks ago. Please do read it when it is posted.
Other news, well, tomorrow I am back in the radio studio going out across South Sudan for a series of crime prevention slots. Apparently my last interview was really well received and I have been booked in for two more interviews! Maybe I missed my true vocation!
We have also said goodbye recently to Arthur from Zimbabwe and Elly from Rwanda, both on our team and now both home with their families. I thoroughly enjoyed working with them both and wish them every happiness and success in the future.
So, having previously got excited about a bbq, something I thought would never happen, this week I got excited about some wood. Yep! I had some shelves and a small kitchen top built in my container. Now that this is my final destination I am determined to put my stamp on it and have put in a request for a new lino on the floor and the shower room to be re-tiled. I will be shopping for paint this afternoon, so, big apologies to those of you who have now actually fallen asleep, but you know, I said before, little things mean so much here!! Check out the photos!
I also went out running with Tomas from Sweden this week, after he so gallantly rescued my clothes last week from the washing machine! Tomas is training for a 30km run in September within his homeland so, as we are roughly the same standard, I thought I would join him. I am sure there will be many more training sessions.
Lastly, poor Dean had one or two mishaps this week, some of them with me somewhere very closely involved…………….but the elbow and arm are healing nicely I am pleased to say!!
My final thoughts this week without question remain with Loveness, sadly missed by all, and me. So, until next time.