I’m here as an English teacher, but I have so much to learn. About how to teach in this context; and about how to survive this far out of my comfort zone.
Language was always going to be my biggest problem here on this Desert adventure. Though lots of people speak Spanish (the colonial language of Western Sahara) the language everyone speaks is Hassaniya, a particular Arabic dialect of which I knew a total of about three words before my arrival six weeks ago.
So if you think I’m persevering and showing my most resilient self whilst being here, imagine having lived in the Desert for 41 years, waiting to be able to return to your homeland. Every day here, I am reminded afresh of the perseverance and resilience of these incredibly warm and wonderful people. And every day I want to work harder to help the Saharawis achieve their dream of heading home.
I was brought up with a WWII mentality to everything. There was always a make do and mend, waste not want not and reuse and recycle mentality in my house. As I entered the twenty-first century, I knew that the values my grandmother had instilled in me through my childhood would be incredibly useful. For we need a war on waste and we need it to happen yesterday.
It’s been an intense few days here in my Saharawi family home. I knew before I arrived that one of my Saharawi sisters would be getting married three weeks into my stay here so I was excited to see all the customs and traditions and be blown away by the differences compared to our traditions at home.
So, after eighteen months spent thinking about embarking on it, nine months planning the adminstative details for it, and the last month panicking about the realities of it, here I am: LIVING IN THE SAHARA DESERT.
People, ever feel like you’re not quite certain which face is your face these days? Ever think: just this little bit of make-up or enhancement of some description (read: filter) and I feel like I look normal? I’ve definitely got to the stage where I don’t really recognise, or like, my face, without that base layer on. Without my war paint. Without.
Three years ago, I couldn’t run. Following one hour and 46 minutes of continuous exercise in Windsor yesterday, I can call myself a triathlete. The process of learning to run and love exercise and to simultaneously love my body has been a long and a fluctuating one. I thought I’d share some thoughts on that process to support anyone else struggling with either or both sides of body confidence.
*note: my first attempt at a political post, so be gentle in your responses and critiques. I’m learning.*
I think I might know a few people who aren’t sure how to vote in the EU Referendum. And who might choose not to vote as a result. So, this has compelled me to write a few things down, just in case I can be of any use to the people who felt they should never have been tasked with such a difficult and technical decision and all the people who feel confused by the way the debate has played out. I’ll keep it short and sweet and to five key points because there are already some much better and more informed contributions you can read all over the internet. Continue reading For the uncertain voter…