Return to Oz

Trip Start May 04, 2011
Trip End Feb 20, 2014

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Where I stayed
What I did
Family, Friends, Good Food

Flag of Australia  , Western Australia,
Sunday, June 3, 2012

For the first time in 5 months, I landed back in Perth. Slightly ahead of the usual time of 1am on a Thursday morning. I had enjoyed really good flights; sleeping very well on way to Dubai and then a half full flight to Perth where I could stretch out. It is flights like these when I don't mind economy/coach class and think those in business class are a bit foolish paying all those extra thousands of dollars. But hey, don’t call me a hypocrite if I ever end up rich enough to fly biz class all the time.

Unlike my previous Perth 3 week break, this one was just the standard 2 weeks. So, I planned less and enjoyed a bit more personal time to get things done. No matter how long a break, I think I will always want an extra day or 2. That’s just the way it is. But I had a great time catching up with (almost) everyone and getting around town in the beast that was my bargain hire car ($350 for 13 days!). I didn’t once drive on the wrong side of the road! Although it is very noticeable that people hog the fast right lane which was not the case in Canada. The daytime weather was fantastic, although the cold mornings shocked my system. The good thing about Ghana is that the tropical temperature is pretty much constant year-round and no need for a robe (family in joke...apparently I have picked up many USAmerican phrases and terms).

I saw my eldest sister Karyn pregnant for the first time on day 1. A significant moment as I have followed from afar her trials and tribulations to get to this point in her life. I visited my good friend in Mandurah for a guaranteed late and fun evening on night 2 of my return – given my good flights, I was not suffering at all from the time difference. I then backed up that 3am evening with a 4:40am session the next night with Jon and Stace. I could barely do that in my early twenties, but now that I’m pushing 30 my liver is well refined! Although the problem I have is that I hardly eat after big drinking sessions and so I returned to Ghana about 3 kg lighter in body weight which annoys me greatly.

My trips to Quairading and Boddington were more sedate than my previous break visits. But it was good all the same...and I can at least remember it all the next day! The site visit to my old work place was quite a surreal 'homecoming’ as I drove up the site access road to the main gate and good to see how things have progressed. Great to see familiar faces and share my experiences of working in Ghana. It makes me miss working in a workplace that has a youthful social atmosphere and around people who know me so well. Funny thing is that when I tell work people here at Ghana that I went back to Bodd on my break, they ask "why??" with a very puzzled facial expression. I lived there for 5 years and made life long friends!! The people I work with now are mostly transient and detached that they struggle to understand this.

It was timely that I was in town for my sister Amy’s birthday and a delicious lunch out. The pub we went to after the movie in Armadale will always make me recoil and laugh at the looks we received with me walking in with 2 lovely ladies and wearing clothes straight from Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills. Overdressed and awkward. Hahaha.

With my 13 days in Perth coming to an end, I got to spend some quality time with my new ‘nephew’ (my cousin’s son) and I held him for a good 10 mins without any tears flowing from either of us. This was a welcome distraction from the depressing task of packing my bags – I ended up with 2 bags weighing 36 kg which is absolutely ridiculous that I am still taking things back to Ghana after all this time. My final Perth meal was a delicious Atlantic Salmon at a local restaurant before heading to the airport for that all too familiar journey back. These flights were not as calming as the ones to Perth. All peace was ruined by a toddler boy screaming for hours on end “I want to go home, I want to go home now, I want to go home.....................”. Man, this kid had a killer set of lungs and a voice box that was clearly well trained. For an 11 hr flight, there is nothing that a traveller fears more than the screaming baby/toddler. With my earplugs, eye-mask and new noise cancelling headphones (worth $189 but free with use of my credit card points!) I was able to get moments of rest, but the 2 teenage boys next to me were more than annoyed by the devil child that destroyed their hope of a sleep-filled flight.

It was a whirlwind and fun-filled break, but as always I now look forward to the next break which promises to be even more of a whirlwind as I celebrate my 30th in Istanbul with my Mother and work my way west across Europe to finish in London for the Olympics. Of course, there is 6 weeks of work, detox and subdued life in Ghana before that!

[more personal photos and moments will be uploaded to facebook...I limit the amount of personal info on this public site]
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