After 3 weeks of vacation, which has really been 3 weeks of reading and procrastinating over actually writing essays, we are off on a family break as of tomorrow. I am so looking forward to it. While I am nowhere near where I had hoped to be in terms of written work, I am about where I expected to be. I know myself well enough to know that short bursts of pressure are what I need to get things done (that’s why I prefer exams) and those essay deadlines just aren’t quite close enough yet – they will be by the time we return though!
The reading has been enjoyable, especially the reading I have been doing for my Ethics essay, on Christian Ethics and Economics (especially Capitalism) – I have been reacquainting myself with economic theory, while also engaging on a deeper level with Liberation Theory for the first time. It has been immensely challenging, and has made me re-examine some of my own thinking about political economics. I guess that’s part of why we’re here, why we are required to go through this studying and training. I look forward to getting ideas down on paper upon our return.
In the meantime, we’re off. And from the title you can probably guess where we’re planning on spending some of our time. Tomorrow we will be heading down the M11, around the M25 and then out on the M4. Sadly not quite the true West Country route of the A303, but we have to drop Wee One off with her dad and grandparents just outside Bath before dropping down to the Mendips for a few days at my parents’. It feels good to be preparing to once again return to that place I call home, the place this blog takes its name from. I will be switching my mind off from academic pursuits and concentrating on relaxation, family time, and fun. I never feel as relaxed as when I am in Somerset (apart from maybe when I’m on Iona). It will be good. We’re also spending some time in Mrs Nomad’s home turf, at her mum’s. I won’t find that quite as relaxing as there will be a big family ‘do’ involved, but it will be good to see my old stomping grounds – I’m hoping to catch up with an old work colleague or two, even maybe pop in and see my old workplace, and also to catch up with one or two folk from my “Sending Circuit”. But it won’t be the same as being back home in the Mendips.
And home is also on my mind for another reason. While I am away a friend, and fellow student, will be organising flights for us to fly out to South Africa in mid-July for a 4-week placement out there. I’m not sure it has come up before in the blog, but Africa is the continent of my birth. I was born in Nigeria, in West Africa, 6 weeks before my parents finished a 3-year stint there with CMS – Dad worked as a teacher, teaching Science (Physics mainly, I think) and Christian Religious Knowledge, in a Government School. This summer will be the first time I have returned to Africa since I left more than 30 years ago! It is a daunting thought. I know it will be a challenge – to my senses, to my thinking, possibly to my theology, almost certainly to my politics. But I’m also excited – I’ve always wanted to go to South Africa, and this is yet another privilege that this journey I’m on is affording me! I will blog more about details as we get nearer the time, but for now I’m just starting to think about will be like to be back on a continent that was my birthplace, which is a place that, under some definitions, I could call home but which I do not remember.
So, this year I will be going home in more ways than one. I’m looking forward to it. But for now I’m mostly looking forward to tomorrow evening, when I will be able to sit, relax, and really be at home for the first time since Christmas!
Whether leaving or going home, travel well,