After so much anticipation, the day arrived with little pomp to write home about. I stayed awake to count down to the first second of being forty and fabulous. Well, the activities which unfolded in that one day mimicked much of my life.
The clock struck midnight, I was the only one awake, in the TV room, flipping from one channel to the next, looking for inspiration. After a few minutes of frustration, I realized nothing was more cozier than the warmth of the bed. I stretched out of the sofa where I had cuddled up, managed to disentangle my feet from the fleece which had somehow wound its way down to my feet and lazily climbed the stairs up to my bedroom. Everybody else was snoring away in their respective bedrooms. It dawned on me that my birthday was going to be be ‘just another day’!!! I quietly made my way into our bedroom, said a prayer and took a mental note of all the good things I have been privileged to have from way back to now.
I am privileged to have the love of both nuclear and extended family. There is always a son, niece, nephew, uncle or granny to humour me endlessly; for this I am forever grateful to God. Nothing can ever come close to the treasure of having a loving family – a large one for that matter! Over the course of the years, I have experience unwavering loyalty from friends and colleagues. Through the good and bad times, they have been there to offer, moral, spiritual, financial and emotional support. The love and support from family and friends has made it possible for me to grow and thrive. I have not merely existed, but the years accumulated so far are full of wonderful memories; one day, when the time is right, a memoir will be penned to give illustrative details of my journey.
Through my travels, as part of my work, I have cruised along the Seine river in Paris and samples parisian shopping; watched the Red Sox in Boston, strolled the Miami beach, enjoyed the ‘Philly’ jazz in Philadelphia , hopped on and off the tour bus in Barcelona to catch a glimpse of the breath taking architecture, enjoyed the medieval city of Rome with all its collection of art, shopped endlessly in Jozi (Johannesburg) and savoured some fine wines in Cape Town. I have shed tears in the museum in Rwanda, bought some rare fabric in Eritrea and of course indulged in a frenzy of West African fabric in Ghana. The story can never be complete without the swiss chocolate and falling in love with lake geneva!!! These and many more have enriched my understanding of people of and their way of life while learning to appreciate that of course, in as much as they have each offered me something unique and fun, nothing compares to the joy of travelling home bound to Zambia: a land of ageless beauty, the Victoria Falls!
In my line of duty, I have had the privilidge to work with all manner of people, from the community health worker in the rural areas, to the renowned professors and everyone in between. I have stood on the shoulders of giants and mentored young professionals who have in turn been much more than I could have ever imagined: these I call the public health squads; the ‘Krew’! Once more, I promise to one day share a glimpse of what it is like to work with these excellent global health professionals. Through all the networks, my knowledge of health has expanded and I believe we have together impacted many lives.
By the time I was dozing off, I thankfully contended that I am blessed to be forty and fabulous! This realisation soothed away all the doubts which were almost stealing my mental preparation for the ‘party’ that was to follow. It was a momerable day, the details of which will be penned later, but suffice to say I had cake, ice cream, ‘bubbly’, cards, ‘ice’ and lots of love, laughter and of course speeches!!!
Welcome to the fabulous forties! “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humour, and some style.” – Maya Angelou.