Friday, June 29, 2007

Chaos is just another word...

Chaos is just another word for opportunity, and by that yardstick I'm off to a bountiful land of opportunity.

Two weeks ago, I had a promising looking career ahead of me in a good bank. Today I have a suitcase and a rucksack. Two weeks ago, I had an easy life with a half hour commute to the office. Today I'm 9000KMs from the main office and don't even know where the other offices are. Two weeks ago, I was a calm(ish), balanced Human Been. Today I'm a nervous wreck likely to crumble to dust if you go 'boo' too loud.

Two weeks ago today, I got a call from an ex-boss who I haven't worked with for years, asking if I'd be interested in doing some work for him again. When I realised he wasn't joking and really did think I could do the job, I suddenly had a lot to think about. Over the next two days, Cheryl and I had a lot of discussions about how we could make this work and what it's going to mean for us in the long run. In the end, after a conversation with Noah (my old man) and some more research I decided to go for it.

For the next 6 months, I'm going to wander around Africa doing Stuff with Things(tm). I'm going do something of use to real people in some shitty places, and I'm going to see parts of the world that the average person never will. And at some point, I'm even hoping that someone's going to tell me what it is exactly that I'm going to be doing :)

I'm going to pack the camera, so I'm hoping to post some decent pictures over the next few months, and I'll update this diary at least once a week. I can type on the plane after all ;)

This lemming is going wandering in Africa - and you just know that's going to result in some great stories!

Saturday, June 02, 2007

I fell down!

It's funny to think how much I've got out of skydiving in the last year. Today I logged jumps 86 and 87 from the ever so sexy turbolet at Sibson.

Sibson's a nice dropzone. Not a huge amount of facilities or anything, but a nice vibe and packing outside on the grass has a certain appeal that I really enjoyed.

I didn't do anything too exciting (besides falling out of a plane of course!). My first jump was pure sightseeing with a pull at 5000ft. I just wanted to get used to my canopy at sea level again after the extreme speed in Jo'burg. It was also good to recalibrate my eyes to how big things should be at 3500ft.

You see, at JSC in South Africa, they have bugger all. More importantly, they have an awful lot of bugger all. So you get used to thinking that when a field takes up 50% of your vision you're at 4000ft. If you tried that in jolly old blighty, you'd find yourself closer to 1000ft and the CCI would be requesting your nuts should you survive by some miracle.

So after recalibrating my eyes and delighting in the fact that I don't have to sprint off my landings, I took another fairly relaxed jump. The exit order changed about 6 times from the flightline to the time we got out, but in the end I figured no-one else was left in the plane so I may as well get out.

I normally lob out on my back to watch the people, but there was no-one to wave goodbye this time. That really doesn't help with my abandonment issues, but there you have it !

All in all, a good day - two good flights, I packed the perfect packjob (it opened and everything!) and Cheryl got burned to a crisp. Ah well... 2 out of 3 ain't bad as the man says in the song.