Friday, June 29, 2007

from the "where to go from here" dept.

It's incredible, really. The older you get, the faster time seems to pass.

I have a theory as to why this is: When you are 10 years old, one year is equal to 10 per cent of your life experience (and even more, if you discount the infant years). When you are 40, one year equals 2.5 per cent of your life experience.

Therefore, a year at 40 seems shorter than a year at 10 because it is a smaller percentage of your life experiences. In addition, there are usually more new life experiences at 10 than at 40.

That's my theory, anyway.

Back to today. It's the end of June and less than three months remain of my gig with JHR/SKYY. Officially I'm done September 15 and I have a flight booked back to Vancouver October 1.

I've spent a lot of time thinking about what to do come the fall. Not returning to Canada seemed the best option and my original idea was simple: stay put at SKYY for another eight months. Unfortunately, that isn't an option as the new JHR person has been contracted.

The remaining options with JHR are to apply for an expert trainer position, which is based in Accra, or apply for a position similar to my current one, but in another regional capital.

My preference is to stay in Takoradi. I have a home here. I know people here. I am comfortable here. Staying in Takoradi would preclude staying with JHR.

Does it make sense just to hang here and do nothing? Certainly not. Does it make sense to use Takoradi as a base for some additional travelling and freelance? Now you're talking.

So. What to do?

Do I want to go back to Canada and do the same old thing as before? No.

However I am very aware of the fact that I am not getting any younger. Which brings us back to where we started. Time flying. Or is it? Do I worry too much about my age and what I "should be doing?"

And what is that anyway? Isn't what I'm doing exactly what I should be doing because I'm doing it?

After turning the question over in my mind for the past few weeks, I think I have come up with a solution, one which I will make firm this weekend.

The idea is this: I will remain in Takoradi until at least December 15. I can change my plane ticket once without penalty, so no extra costs there. Once I finish my JHR contract, I will focus on freelancing written pieces. If I can make $500 a month, I can easily cover my expenses here. If not, it'll cost me about $1500 in savings to remain. A fair trade? I think so.

I've also some irons in the fire here and I think there is a good chance of doing freelance work for one of the myriad of NGOs here.

If I am able to bring home enough bacon, I'll look at staying even longer. I would likely fly home to Canada for Christmas and return in January. There are a couple of big stories to cover in 2008: the African Cup football series and the next election. Both of those should provide some freelance opportunities.

Then again, I might change my mind. You know me...


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