The holiday countdown is on again; three and a half weeks in, four and a half weeks to go. It’s funny, I generally refer to our time off the island as “breaks” rather than “holidays” – mostly because that’s the way the majority of people here refer to them (that is, those that don’t refer to them as “vacations”) but also because a part of me is conscious about the external reaction“you’re on holidays AGAIN??” which is exactly what I would be saying if viewing this life of ours from the outside.
We arrived back on the island a few days before Christmas, after catching up with our families, for the first time in 12 months, in Europe, among the Kristkrindlmarkts and gluhwein. This year, the island Christmas was a quiet affair with most people working through a few celebrations thrown in between. I am continuing to work though the project I was hired to coordinate is just about finished – mid-February sees my last official day of work, and after that, we will just have to wait and see what (if any) offers are forthcoming.
At the moment, life is pretty simple. The husband has just started working nights and will continue to do so for the next couple of weeks. One of the effects of this (apart from the fact that we barely see each other) is that I am finding it difficult to sleep and therefore finding it difficult to get up at 5.20am for my pre-desk workout. In training for our next “break” where we are hoping to conquer Kilimanjaro, I have been adding additional workouts to my daily routine. At least the husband’s night shifts are well-timed from that perspective – the free time is encouraging me to embrace my inner gym-fanatic, meaning I should be well-equipped for February’s climb – aside from the potential for altitude sickness. Never having been at altitude before is providing me with some level of anxiety, yet there is not a lot that can be done to guard against that while on the island. The last ditch training effort will be yet another climb of the island volcano the week before we leave. That is, assuming a permit will be granted for us to once again hike up the 30km road.
In the meantime, it is back again to inhaling the sandy dust of Harmattan, coating the balcony and front stairs and therefore the bottom of my feet whenever I venture out barefoot. Back to drinking expired milk and trying not to eat all the peanut butter/Reece’s peanut butter cups gifted to me over the past few weeks. Back to stretching my creative mind for different takes on the fish, meat and veggie dinner combination. Back again to this, our island home.