Saturday, August 30, 2008

Got me thinking

"sounds like the good life. all this gadding about africa, meeting clients and securing deals reminds me of the lord of war ;)
Pissu Perea"

Sometimes it takes a comment to really appreciate somethings, and this one got me thinking about what I do. Fond of claiming that if you found a job you loved you would never have to work a day in your life, I really have not voiced the fact just how much I do love what I do.

My roots start 20yrs ago and on a tea plantation a long long way from where I am right now. For the next decade I was to be found tramping amongst the tea gardens of Sri Lanka, first in Maskeliya and then in Bandarawela. A sudden realization that the world was changing and I was left behind the driver to make a change and exchange my stout walking shoes, long socks, shorts and short sleeved shirts for a tie and stiff collar and a desk in a poky little office in Union Place trying my hand at selling what I had learn t to grown!

Five years, and the initial forays overseas on work taking me to Europe, the US and Japan in search of markets. It was then that I took the next big step in my life by leaving my employer of 15 yrs to join a new company just starting off. In the first three months I found myself traveling more than I had in the previous five years going to China, Hong Kong, India and the Maldives seeing the Himalaya's, the tea gardens of Darjeeling, Assam, the Nilgiris and China.

In year 3 a two month assignment to conduct market research became a two year stint in one of the most beautiful countries in the world, and one I would dearly love to live in, South Africa. That first exposure kindled my love for this 'dark' continent, little suspecting at the time how intimate I was to become with it in time. From South Africa to Kenya then Uganda before eventually returning home.

The winds of change blew again, following a briefly frustrating period warming a seat in Colombo and I was now en route for West Africa and the countries of Ghana, Burkina Faso, Niger, Mali, Guinea, Gambia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo and Angola.

This my third visit to the region with a new destination on the cards in two weeks - Nigeria.

So yes, I am lucky, I am fortunate, I am blessed to be doing something I love, in a continent that I love being in, Africa.

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