The Journey Begins

“1 Bedroom Flat to Rent in Hammersmith, West London”

And with that, posted on the internet for the world to see, it suddenly feels very official. To most people, Georgie and I have only recently made the choice to uproot our lives and to go and live in West Africa, in a small town called Makeni in the North of Sierra Leone, but in truth the foundations were laid long ago, perhaps even as far back as the night we first met – in the early hours of 2010 – in a dark corner of a bar in Exeter. It was then that Georgie first shared with me her dream of living and working in Africa and if I had known then what the future had in store for us both I probably would have paid a lot more attention. I like to think I asked some intelligent and relevant questions at the time – though neither of us can recall any – but I certainly never considered how that might affect me. In any case, I was still in blissful ignorance some two years later when a friend asked, deadpan, “So, Georgie going to Sierra Leone. You think this is a bad idea? Or a very bad idea…?”

At that point, of course, I was still swearing that I would never move to London – let alone Africa – and it would be much much later, sat in our London flat, that I myself first raised the possibility of joining her on this journey without maps, but by then I had watched Inception, so I understood what was going on.

Sat here in the wintery months of early 2014 the plan still seems more like a dream than anything else – the idea that in a few short weeks we will be roasting in the African heat, finding our way in a new culture – Georgie with a new job and all the challenges that will entail – and me looking to carve out my own niche in a world so far removed from my own experience that I can barely imagine it.

We look ahead with excitement more than trepidation – Georgie is doing the practical things like booking flights and vaccinations, researching visas and organising storage for our belongings whilst I fret about how many memory cards I will need for my camera and whether I will be able to find a reliable internet connection. In this way, all bases are covered and we make a good team. I did take pictures of the flat to advertise it online, but it was Georgie who wrote and posted the advert.

Georgie has organised a gas safety certificate for our prospective tenants, I have started this blog.

I hope that we will be able to keep this updated with our experiences and our adventure as it unfolds. I have almost no idea of what lies ahead of us or how things will work out, but one thing’s for sure: it’s going to be an interesting experience.

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