This Christmas/New Years break has been a little unusual to say the least - there was no turkey, no crackers, no carols and no presents. My brother got married on the 27th December in Sudan (of all places) and so yuletide festivities were cancelled this year and replaced by the mayhem that is a Sudanese wedding - think 1000 guests, tribal bridal dances (go to minute 1.57), fertility ceremonies, intensive ululation and enough food to make you explode. There's a preview of Sudan photos below but I'll post more soon. As for Christmas, D and I plan to do our own Christmas and New Year in one here in Madrid on Reyes (Epiphany, 7th? January)
I feel surprisingly relaxed at the start of this new year, none of the intensive 'I must improve' lists of resolutions - I feel reasonably fit, work-wise and relationship-wise things are going great and my big bro just got married :-) Perhaps more than looking to the future (there are a few exciting trips and events in the pipeline that I hope to be able to share here soon :-)) I'll reflect on what I've learnt this year - it's not much I'm afraid and perhaps very obvious but I feel I ought to record it nevertheless:
1. Know when to give in and ask for help - I've really had to swallow my pride and do that this year - and funnily enough sometimes those closest to you are not the people to get advice from.
2. Don't be afraid to travel alone - I did it for the first time this year (Marrakech and Bali) and it was possibly one of the most enriching experiences of my life - I met great people, had a wonderful time and forgot my woes in a big way.
3. When you want something (a better job and a happy relationship in my case) just keep gnawing away until you get it. That probably sounds awful doesn't it? At the start of this year both of these were looking truly and utterly dire with no light at the end of the tunnel - but I have to say that perseverance, direct communication (i.e. letting people know clearly what I want) and coming at the problem from different angles paid off despite often feeling that I was getting nowhere.
Hope you all had a lovely Christmas and New Year and that 2011 turns out great for all of us!
|My sisters and I at my brothers wedding|
|Where the blue and white nile converge before travelling north (and on to Egypt)|