Nkosi Sikelei l’Afrika Part 2

18 Aug

This is what you might call a stop gap blog entry, as I am at the outset of a journey, with only aspirations at the present time.
I am sat here, actually having to pinch myself that this is really happening….
As I finished off my original post “Nkosi Sikelei l’Afrika” I had no idea that, only three months later, I would be only hours away from getting the flight to Africa to do the volunteering I decided almost twenty years ago that I wanted to do.
On my list of things to do, finally getting to Africa in some sort of volunteering capacity was the most labour intensive ambition to fulfill, and, as I believed at the time, the one most likely to be the last to cross off the list, some time in mid 2013.
In actual fact, I will be on a plane at 5.30am this morning, destined for Cape Town, South Africa, and will be teaching in a government primary school from Tuesday morning.
This trip represents for the complete embodiment of what I imagine “recovery” from mental ill health to be. It is active, involves putting right old regrets and actually doing rather than saying I will do something.
On top of academic work, I fully intend to immerse myself in the art of teaching the pupils how to play cricket, although my success in this will largely depend on whether the England team can redeem themselves at Lords by the end of the current Test Match against South Africa at Lords.
This evening, I have mostly sat down to watch “Cry Freedom” once more, the film that inspired this whole ambition all those years ago. I am not ashamed to say that I had tears rolling down my face by the end, in the full knowledge that tomorrow night, I will be sat in a bar in Cape Town, at the furthest point away from home I have ever been, yet as close to the life goal I set myself in adolescence.
As if all of this wasn’t enough, I was also delighted to learn that I will be met by someone at the airport with my name on a sign at Arrivals. To truly mark this defining moment in my life, I changed my name by deed poll earlier in the month. You may now call me Bond. James Bond.

2 Responses to “Nkosi Sikelei l’Afrika Part 2”

  1. Alex August 18, 2012 at 12:06 pm #

    May I congratulate you Mr Bond on such a great accomplishment 🙂

    • madmannomore August 20, 2012 at 4:03 pm #

      Why thank you!

      Sadly, my airport contact was a minibus driver, rather than a sharp suited diplomat in shades and an attache case.

      On the positive side, I have met some wonderful people already, and definitely not anyone in a khaki suit stroking a white cat!

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