18th Jul 2012
Thanks for the memories
The time has come and the bags are packed (well nearly). So this is it. Feeling very nervous and apprehensive about getting on a plane for the first time in a long while. This blog is about what I will miss about Tuvalu and what I am looking forward to on my return home.
After living in a country for a while you are bound to miss certain things about it when you leave. I know looking back in years to come there will always be certain things that I will never forget. One of the main things is the Tuvalu Scouts from adults to young people everyone has shown commitment to the movement and in doing so it has meant that Scouting is stronger than it has been for many long years. The young people of Tuvalu could not be friendlier or kinder and because of this Scouting will go from strength to strength. Everyone in Tuvalu has been very hospitable and from day one they have made it feel like home. Outside of Scouting as well I have made many new friends that I am sure I will keep in contact for years to come. I will truly miss the wonderful people of Tuvalu.
Just living in Tuvalu has brought so many amazing new experiences and taught me new skills. Travelling to the islets for a weekend of camping on a postcard perfect islet has been something that is almost too easy to do. When I think about my time in Tuvalu when I am at home in the bleak mid winter looking outside at the rain I will realise how lucky I was.
There are many things that I will miss about Tuvalu but what won’t I miss?
· Mosquitoes – relentless irritants, looking forward not to not sleeping with a net
· Rats – They dine out on toes, cooking oil and anything tasty, it’s been a war.
· Ants – the masters of the house, living in harmony is the only solution.
I have missed many things about home and being away has made me appreciate a lot I used to take for granted. Obviously being away from family and friends will always be hard but what are the more unusual things I have missed?
· Cold – although I may hate it when I first get back my body is not designed for the tropics and in the unrelenting heat of Tuvalu the cool of the British midsummer sounds very enticing.
· Mountains – am not fussy though anything higher than 4m will do just fine!
· Fruit and Vegetables – for all the wonders of Tuvalu the lack of fruit and veg is obvious with the lack of fertile soil. Suva market (Fiji) here I come!
For my final Scout meeting in Tuvalu we were designing the new Scout flag that will be used for the Royal visit in a few months time. To close I lead the Scout Shout where the leader says "what are we?" to the reply "were the Scouts" Leader- "and we should be" Scouts "be prepared". This is done three times each time increasing in volume before the last one is shouted at the top of your voice. This is what is in the photo below. Very sad to say goodbye to all the Scouts.
Working for the UK Scout Association and working with Tuvalu Scouts has been an honour and I hope that the work that myself and Andy have been doing will continue with the local leaders and National Council. I am very grateful that I was selected for this role and I would like to thank the UK Scout Association for giving me the opportunity to work in Tuvalu. One thing that my time in Tuvalu has taught me is that no matter what country you are in Scouting will always work if it is given the right support.
So over the last months Tuvalu has been incredible and I want to apologies to everyone who has been reading these blogs because just can’t sum up my time here in words. This won’t be the last blog but thank you to everyone who has been reading and I hope it has given you a taste of what Tuvalu is like. It is truly and unique place.
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