Very aware of things happening for the last time here in Tanzania. I've used my Tanzanian bank account for the last time. I've just bought petrol for the last time (probably). I've bought 20 litre containers of drinking water for the last time. I've attended various meetings which have been part of my life for the last 4.5 years for the last time. Unless I'm asked to do more on a consultancy basis, I've done the last batch of marking. I've been doing some clearing out of the flat - although this is considerably simpler than moving to come out here, a relatively small proportion of the things in the flat actually belong to me, the rest either coming with the flat or were bought from the furnishing allowance therefore get returned to the University - which, I would say, saves a huge job in otherwise disposing of the stuff.
Meanwhile, my flight to Heathrow is booked, as is the onward travel. Car purchase, insurance, reoccupying my house, all in progress. Have paid for and will soon obtain a letter of good conduct from the Tanzanian police to produce if looking to get a police check in future for the purpose of working with children. Professional website is online - do take a look if you haven't already done so! Business cards ordered, conference presentation drafted for the conference on my return, more about this in due course!
So, how am I feeling about this? Reality is now starting to sink it which it didn't straight after Christmas with life carrying on very much as usual initially. Sadness is one emotion, there are certainly many things here that I'll miss, particularly the people, students have been fantastic, great colleagues, and a sense of making something of a difference. And having a full time house keeper is an amazing luxury which I couldn't possibly afford back in the UK - thank you, Hellen, for everything over the last few years!
Other things I won't miss, to be honest. Even today rains have been falling, not to the point where flooding has occurred but not far off and that's likely to be coming, slightly disconcerting living in a city with annual rains with which the infrastructure can't cope. I tell people here that there was one power cut (to my knowledge) in the entirety of the 4.5 years that I lived near Basingstoke and they don't believe me. And home is home at the end of the day, very happy to travel where required in future but really looking forward to being based in the UK once again.
Meanwhile, work here is not yet done! Two conferences in the next two weeks, one here in DSM, the other in Mombasa, in both cases presenting with my friend and colleague Dr Marriote Ngwaru relating to some work we have been doing recently. Have some overnight Canadian visitors this week on their way back from a mission trip. The community choir is singing this coming Saturday, and the cathedral choir has been practising for a sung Communion on my last Sunday here. So things not yet finished up here. And aware of the need to do some work to have all work stuff packed up for other people to take over once I'm gone.
So, please excuse me if I'm a bit intermittent over the next few weeks, will try to keep you posted but it's safer not to promise. Thank you for reading and, if you're in the UK, hope to see you soon.