Today I’m grateful for…
Rich time immersing myself in the colours, scents and unique flavours of Abidjan.
Finally having the chance to fulfil my long-held wish to explore the colourful, muddy, sensory overload of a crowded local market, tasting indigenous flavours and shopping for local materials with friendly greetings of “Bonjour!” down every over-flowing pathway.
Being re-inspired each time I tap into the importance of the work we do in South Africa as contributing to a global community dedicated to human rights, gender equality and land governance that puts people in its centre.
Being harshly reminded how very far we still have to go in regard to gender equality, even as a community of practitioners and land rights defenders, to truly understand what this means and could look like.
The thick, heavy heat of Cote d’Ivoire, coating my skin in sweat and salt but making me feel alive and connected to the tropical air.
Rolling thunderstorms and intense early morning downpours bringing the city to life in a new way with glowing flashes of light and energy.
Savouring new flavours on my tongue, delighting in the incredible creative capacity of human beings and connecting to local specialities on my travels.
Have a doctor on hand at my conference when I got ill, instantly whipping me up to the comfort of my hotel room to inject me with urgently-needed antibiotics and painkillers, allowing me to recover in time for to deliver my presentation and engage in discussions and recommendations the following day.
Exploring a variety of live music experiences, from local harmonies to reggae beats, and stumbling onto a jazz club too late to hear the band but in time to watch some amazing salsa dancing that stirred my lust to dance once again.
Being increasingly awake to the power of architecture to inspire, uplift, and enable.
The complete luxury of having a row of three seats all to myself for the final eight-hours flight of my journey homewards, able at last to stretch my exhausted body out and sleep deeply.
Thoroughly enjoying the strong friendships and working relationships I have built across the continent and indeed the world over the past four years, feeling appreciated and appreciative of what we have achieved together and what we are planning in the years ahead.