Travelling is often not the straightforward smooth ride we hope for and I suppose that the more you travel the more likely it is that things will go wrong. I arrived in Maputo, Mozambique on Monday 12th November after a very long night flight to Johannesburg and then a long wait before another flight to Maputo. I had planned it so I had two full days of relaxation before training. Maputo is a fascinating city - some gems like the 100 year old railway station, roads filled with flame trees and jacarandas and streets with names like Avenida Vladimir Lenine, which tell a tale of the country's rocky history.
We started the day on Thursday with great enthusiasm but a dark cloud soon settled over us as news came through of a national strike in response to the government putting up the price of public transport. The word on the street was that there would be rioting and all major roads blocked with burning tyres. This news put off about half the teachers who had planned to attend my training. But those who did come certainly made up for it with their enthusiasm and determination not to let outside events bother them.
I am not sure whether I was relieved or disappointed when our taxi drive to the airport not only revealed a complete lack of rioters but delivered us there in record time as there were so few other cars on the road.
Our sessions in Jo’burg and Cape Town were snag-free and the teachers just as enthusiastic and ready to have fun as their Mozambique counterparts.
It was a delight to have a week of summer – a break from the greyness and damp of a London November. Saturday and Sunday lunch in Cape Town were both at oceanside restaurants. I even got sand between my toes on Sunday.
The other thing about travelling is how many more people you meet than when you stay at home (particularly if you work like me alone at the computer). Making new friends is a gift and meeting them again a greater one.