The time has finally arrived and I depart for Nigeria this evening, Saturday 18 October.
It is with a heavy heart that I leave the UK. My friend Heather, who started work at Christian Aid at the same time as me and has remained a close friend since, was tragically killed in a bus crash whilst on holiday in Laos earlier this week. I will miss Heather dearly. She was such a special person and an amazing friend. So loving, so warm, so intelligent, so full of life. She was an advocate for international development and had achieved so much during her time at Christian Aid. She leaves a huge hole, but I can take comfort that she achieved so much in her 24 years. Heather was, and is, such an inspiration and I know that she will be with me every step of the way and in everything that I do in Nigeria. This week has been one of my hardest, but it is with this knowledge that I make the first steps towards my placement in Lagos.
I am due to arrive in Abuja, Nigeria's capital, in the early hours of tomorrow morning and will embark on ten days of in-country training. I will then make my way down south to Lagos to meet the family that I will be living with and my colleagues. I expect to start my new job at the beginning of November.
So, as I adjust to my new life in Nigeria, I will be thinking of family and friends, of all the support that I have received, and have much relished, over the last few months and days, and of Heather. My close friend and now my inspiration. O se! Thank you! I will be in touch as soon as possible!
Much love, Jen x