Tuesday, February 09, 2016

2016: New Beginnings

Goodbye 2015. My 2015 started with so much hope and potential. This was after the absolutely smashing year that was 2014.
2014 was a never-ending roller-coaster of success and great surprises professionally. There was the book chapter followed by another book chapter. Earlier in 2014 I attended a wedding in Germany that allowed me to meet up with some of my girls from undergraduate. There we were - all reunited 1000s of miles from college. Truly good times. 

2014 progressed and there was the last minute invitation to give a talk in Copenhagen staying in a 5 star hotel (that was in Danish-Swedish drama The Bridge) to a room of about 500+ people. The Bridge is amazing by the way. The talk was a success and it was thrilling. 2014 continued on. There was an invitation to a conference in Nairobi, meeting up with my good friends from graduate school. There was another trip to Dublin for a conference and reuniting with my high school BFF and meeting her husband and adorable sons. 2014 could not get better. The pinnacle was surviving my PhD defence surrounded by friends and family. 

So it appeared that the only way was up for 2015. It started out well but things crashed and burned quite soon. Things did not work out as expected. The grant that I pinned my hopes on did not materialize and my beloved Ghana continued to derail.

Granted I got to travel to Beijing, intern in Washington DC and make a triumphant return to the city that still has my heart - New York City. There I was in New York City after almost a decade, feeling the warmth of the subway steam and hanging out with my girls again like we did in the 00s. 

It turned out that 2015 was the year of bitter reality checks and reflection. Then I made a major decision. I quit my job and left the institute I had been affiliated with since I left the US and relocated to Ghana all the way back in 2002. It was a hard decision and one that may cost me in the long run but it was something I had to do.

So now we are in 2016. I started the year treading into completely unfamiliar waters.  I have relocated back to the part of Africa I spent my first 18 years - Southern Africa. It feels like coming full circle. This is a quite unfamiliar Southern Africa though.

It has only been  a few weeks but I am starting to adjust to life in Northern Malawi. I am living 5 minutes from Lake Malawi and a glorious beach. The area is quite isolated and sometimes all I hear are chickens and dogs barking. There are the occasional monkeys in trees, cows passing by and of course goats eating grass. It is a great time for reflection and hopefully, a very productive time. It has been a big gamble and if it does not work out, at least I would have had an enriching experience. 

The end of the glorious drive to my new (rural) base


gamelmag said...

You're very awesome so I'm going to keep my fingers crossed that you're going to have a very fulfilling 2016. Thoughts and prayers are with you. Regards.

Frank Sosu said...

Smooth delivery.You easily flow to your audience. Its a sure reason to say you will go far.

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