What is the world coming to?

I was travelling from London to Rome this morning when I heard the terrible news about the bombings in Brussels, which comes after the New York, London & Paris attacks, war in Syria, Iraq etc., the refugee crisis, breakdown of the welfare system in many countries, desecration of wildlife habits… in short, I despair. It…

Makeni & Freetown, Sierra Leone

The Sunday before Christmas was spent in Freetown, Sierra Leone. We went for a long walk around the city (approx. 12 km), first along Lumley beach and returning via Wilkinson and Aberdeen roads. The beach was filled with football games while the other side of the road contains many new building sites; a sign of economic…

Off the beaten track – Richtersveld & Namaqualand

In my previous posting, we had started our trip, caravan and all (no cats), in Kapps Farm near Windhoek, Namibia, and headed south towards Cape Town. Richtersveld Nature Reserve We left our riverbed campsite to continue south towards the Namibia/South Africa border via a quick refuel and re-stock in the zinc-mining town of Rosh Pina….

Off the beaten track – Namibia

A few days ago, I was haven a twitter chat and we somehow got onto the topic of Africa and our trips to Namibia, South Africa and Botswana.  The next thee blogs will be about one trip in Namibia, when three of us drove from Windhoek to Cape Town with a Range Rover and Caravan….

Blog – the beautiful people of Sierra Leone

In this post my reflections are through pictures – the people of Sierra Leone left a positive and lasting impression on me! The wonderful people of Port Loko, where I was based:                                    The pikkins of Port Loko:                            The children and…

Blog: 24 hours in Freetown, Sierra Leone #EbolaFreeSierraLeone

After more than 3 weeks in Port Loko, Sierra Leone, at last I had a chance for a two-night R&R (rest & recreation) with my wife, who is currently based in Freetown.  Saturday afternoon a few of us got transport to Freetown, an intriguing three-hour drive from Port Loko.  We had to pass through several roadblocks…

Jungle walk – Port Loko, Sierra Leone

On my second day off from duties in the Port Loko ETC, JS invited JB and myself to join her on a jungle walk. Most of the team had already been on this walk and were quite effusive in their enthusiasm. So, off we went down Rotifunk road; actually more of a dirt track with…

Sierra Leone – a visit to the Maronka Port Loko EducAid orphanage

It was a Wednesday, which made absolutely no difference as illness does not pause; we worked a 7-day cycle. Four of us had the day off (JS, CS, PF) and took off towards the local EducaAid orphanage.  Head towards the road to the airport, approximately 0.8 km, they said, then turn right and walk along…

Sierra Leone – a first visit to Port Loko

Friday morning was the first real working day and I had been allocated to the early shift, which started at 06:00 am.  Not a problem on my part, as I am an early bird, but it meant trying to get a few slices of toast and some coffee before getting the bus at 05:30 am….

Sierra Leone – the first few days

I’m not really sure how I decided to go to Sierra Leone, but the seeds were probably planted by an email I received from my lovely wife: “Can I please go to Sierra Leone to work in an Ebola lab?” My response was a simple “yes” – I was happy that she wanted to go,…

A short visit to Bavaria / Bayern

It’s been a while since I visited Germany and it was about time to hear a speak German again, do some reading, just enjoy.  Weilheim in Oberbayern, south of Munich, is always a good target, gemütlich, has good beer and food, and is close to the mountains and Munich. The local politics are too conservative for my…

The University of Surrey turns 50 (#Surrey50)

This week the University of Surrey celebrates 50 years in Guildford, having originated from Battersea Polytechnic (https://www.surrey.ac.uk/).  The celebrations started with fireworks on Wednesday this week, which was preceded by some good music (does anybody recall the name of the first band?), including a Beatles tribute band, and food stalls – who can resist a Kung…

A new journey – Fresher’s week at Uni

The academic year has started a new cycle with Fresher’s Week at Surrey and the real deal starting next week. The faces keep getting younger, not really, I just get older. The first few weeks of university, or any new challenge for that matter, is quite scary and I can see that on faces during…

Dreaming of Africa

I have a dream of returning to Africa. leaving behind the rat race, feeling the sun touch me…

A stroll on the South Bank, London

It’s been a few months since I took a leisurely visit to London. I have been hiding in my “cave”, away from the realities of life and the anxiety caused by crowds of people.  Then, earlier this week, Dr Raymond gave me a bit of a butt kicking; I should get my camera out, go somewhere,…

Dorob Nature Reserve; Namibia 2016

We spent a day in the coastal resort of Swakopmund,  where we restocked and got a permit for the Dorob Nature Reserve. Swakopmund is a quaint little town that has somewhat of a colonial Germany flavour (Namibia was a German colony prior to 1914), especially in terms of the architecture and to some extent the…

Windhoek – Swakopmund; Namibia 2016

Sunrise is at around 06:00 and I get out of bed a few minutes earlier in time to see the sun pop over the horizon, for me the most beautiful part of the day, so full of promise. The day brightens up very quickly at these latitudes and within an hour it is warm enough…

Namibia 2016: Relaxing & planning for a trip

The blue dawn shows itself over the horizon. It’s time to get up; Knaaters the cat and I go outside and watch the sun rise slowly, a half moon overhead. Surrounding us is a serenade of sounds, not intrusive, welcoming in the new day. Then I walk through the garden with Knaaters alongside me, looking at…

Namibia 2016…

The first full day in Namibia was rather relaxed. I walked around the garden taking photographs of the flowers, some beetles and butterflies, then watched an old video (1987) of Fiela se Kind (Fiela’s Child), based on the book by Dalene Mathee. The evening in Namibia was spent sitting outside at sunset (18:55) chin wagging about…

Namibia 2016: That cat & the first few days…

Slowly I descended down the stairs of the aircraft, breathing the heat-laden and dust-filled air of Namibia. Breathe in, this will do you good! Namibia is my favourite country: wonderful, welcoming people, desert country with lots to see for those of a discovering ilk, sunshine and “that” cat. Knaaters belongs to my sister and her…

A quick visit to Rome

Over the last 10 years I have been to Italy quite a few times, mainly Milan and its environs, while a previous same-day in-out trip to Rome did not allow for any sightseeing. Not that I had much time on this trip, but I could spare a few hours. The trip had a somewhat unfortunate…