Please bear with me my friends and followers, usual service to be resumed shortly!

April has always been an important month in my personal calender, it is littered with birthdays and anniversaries and oftentimes Den and I had simply declared “a month of celebrations” and so perhaps I should not be surprised at my current mood and penchant for reflection. On top of the significance of the month I am fast approaching the conclusion of the Amani Centre chapter of what I have come to think of as Part 2 of the Book Of My Life.

So much has happened in the past year, I look back and see tremendous significance in the events of the past twelve months. I understand all the principles of looking forward, living positively and living for the now but some times it is good to allow yourself a wallow in the deep waters of memories, just be sure you are always close to the waters edge or surface.

As I reflect on the past year I do so with a smile and confidence, that is what I have achieved so far from my life changing, somewhat self indulgent actions of ” upping sticks” and setting off for the foreign climes of East Africa. I can dive deep into the ocean of memories that surround me and know that I will always be able to come up to the surface and face the here and now easily. There are monsters down there but now I am strong enough to embrace them and accept their part in my life, I am not yet able to view those monster memories of dark times as having been a positive influence but I know that I have learned from my ability to overcome them.

Where do I go from here?

The moment I heard the news that there were tenants wanting to take on my villa in Spain for a two year rental period with a buy option at the end of that time my first thought was: Great I can stay here. It was my first and true response. I love the town where I live, Moshi. I recognise my good fortune in not having ended up at a project in a large town / city such as Arusha or Dar es Salaam and am thankful to whatever guiding light it was that directed me here. I am also old enough and wise enough to accept that my home situation is truly a gift from the Gods. I live in the height of western standard luxury tucked away in a safe friendly corner of Moshi, my neighbourhood is called Soweto and I am thankful to be here.

And so my decision is made. I will stretch my finances to allow me to remain in Tanzania, or more specifically Moshi until the end of 2015. This will make my stay here two years in total.

Down in the deep waters of the dark memories I recall a conversation with one of those special friends that I now view as family, Anita. It was not long after Den had finally given up fighting life and taken leave of me and I was in a dark place. I had put my villa on the market and already had plans to volunteer. I knew with a passion I could not continue my life as it was without the Big Man at my side, I had to find a new path for the next Part of my Book of Life. Anita, bless her, quizzed me on my intentions and suggested we make a financial plan to help me best assess the minimum price I could accept for the villa. She knew me well enough to know that I would probably just accept whatever offer might come my way.

We sat with pen and paper and not a lot of enthusiasm on my part because, yeah, I just wanted out. Her first question threw me off balance completely.

“How long do you need to be able to financially support yourself in order to launch your career as a writer?”

Wow, she came at me from an entirely different angle, she focused on what did I want to achieve and built the budget from that point.

My answer was two years. I felt that if I could be a full time writer for two years I should be able to achieve my goals of seeing my first book published along with (possibly, dependant on whether I go indie or traditional publishing route) an anthology of shorts and a trilogy of novellas.

OK, my villa did not sell and the current rental deal does not supply the full support budget we discussed but thanks to Anita I have a defined goal. I am now in a perfect writing environment. To mix writing with volunteering provides awesome inspiration and I am comfortable with my two year plan.

So long story short my friends, I am staying. My visa for a volunteer placement at Amani expires on April 30th and I have made the hard decision to move onto a new project and I will purchase a new visa for that organisation, this visa will be for the maximum allowed time IE: two years. I will introduce you to this project and explain my reasons later.

For now we must all celebrate my time at Amani and focus on the wonderful little people that fill my life there with so much love.

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10 thoughts on “Where do I go from here?

  1. All though we all miss you we also no tou are enjoying your self! Full respekt. .. you are helping very meny kids that need you help and support but without realising you are helping your self! God bless….we love you from norway★★★★


  2. Well done Jill , I am glad that you are following your dreams , some will say you are mad , and perhaps you are , but you will have done whatever you want for you and in doing that you have brought help love and friendship to a lot of children that really need it , and I for one admire your strength and courage in doing this , I hope that your writing continues and the beautiful place that you now call home inspires you , love Kath and Glyn xxx ,by the way it’s pouring of rain here .

    Sent from my iPad



    1. Hi, how lovely to hear from you both, I think of you often as I see the odd FB update! Me mad? Who would dare! Actually I am barking mad but happy and so who cares! Very sorry for the rain. Not sure if cruises bring you to the Tanzanian shores but as intrepid travellers, this really is a place that deserves to be seen! Would love to show you round. Xxxx


  3. Such an interesting and thought provoking post (and blog, in general) for so many reasons. It’s been great to read your story so far. But it’s also great to hear your reasons for doing what you do. This is very current for a lot of people who are battling their mixed emotions and relatively impoverished status as a result of the economic climate. I understand, of course, that your reasons for change are personal and deeply emotional. To decide to accept whatever comes your way for your villa is a liberating decision and has allowed you (maybe even given you the permission) to follow your dreams. To understand how long you can survive to pursue this dream before finances become an issue is the true manifestation of wealth above material possession. And to recognise and appreciate the fortunes that have come your way in terms of the richness of the situation in which you find yourself writing is almost like a moment of enlightenment. Your thoughts and comments, particularly in relation to the hardships these students have to bear, have been real points of consideration for me and have caused me to reevaluate my own situation (and incredible good fortune) on more than one occasion. Good kuck with the next two years!


    1. Thank you so much Jools, your support is as always appreciated and your comments have got me thinking. It is interesting to read another persons perspective on your own situation and your comment re the villa sale being liberating is spot on. A part of me believes the things that happened re the property were a clear sign but I hadn’t considered the permission aspect and yet my heart immediately tells me that it is again spot on. Thanks for the Good Luck thought, I think my next project will be extremely challenging in many ways. I hope you remain a fellow traveller with me through these pages!


  4. There is that moment when you feel rudderless that a new sense of purpose develops. We have put our home on the market in Madrid and hope to sell in the next two years and return closer to family – having made that decision other things are falling into place. Great post and I wish you much luck and happiness in your next adventure.


    1. Good luck with your sale plans. I know how hard it can be but yes, making the decision opens new doors and gives a fresh outlook. I More to come on that soon!

      Many thanks for taking the time to read and comment, it really makes the difference. Be Happy.


  5. Dear Gill, Just a quickie. SO delighted that you have tenants and can continue without financial worries along this amazing journey you are making. I realise you will have left Amani yesterday? – you will have left behind such joy and happiness and doubtless your departure will have broken many hearts. You touched so many young lives – they will never forget you. Giving uncondtional love to others is the most special thing we can ever do. God bless and keep you safe in your next adventure. Penny


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