Monday, June 29, 2009

On the Road in England

I’ve been in England since last Wednesday, taking part in a leadership training seminar being held on a centre about 50 km west of London. The cool temps and green countryside are a pleasant change from the heat and mud of Burkina, and it’s stimulating to rub shoulders with fellow administrators from a variety of West African countries. My only regret is that Kathy can’t be here to share it with me.

I haven’t had much free time, but have managed to get out for a few walks. With all the food they serve here for meals, and all the sitting we do all day, they should be making a daily walk part of the program! As it is, I’ll probably go back to Burkina about 20 lbs heavier than when I left! I wonder if they’ll charge me for extra baggage?

On my walks, it’s been a challenge to remember what side of the road to walk on. The country roads aren’t very wide to begin with. In fact, to my eyes, they only look wide enough for one vehicle to drive on at a time! Maybe that’s why the cars here are so small, certainly compared to the ones we’re used to in Burkina and Canada.

As you know, here in Britain they drive on the opposite side of the road to what we’re used to in Canada and Burkina. It still freaks me out to see a car coming around the corner on the “wrong” side of the road! So to walk facing traffic, I have to remember to walk on the right shoulder.

When I cross the road, I have to remember to look both ways very carefully. Otherwise, I’m liable to look to my immediate left first, which is where I would normally be expecting on-coming traffic to come from. If I don’t see anything, I might be tempted to step into that lane before turning my head to look for oncoming traffic in the other lane, totally forgetting that any oncoming traffic would be coming from my immediate right, where I had not yet looked! “Hood ornament” is not high on my list of preferred occupations.

On one of my walks, I came upon an English pub. Of course, I couldn't resist the urge to go in and immerse myself in a bit of traditional British atmosphere. Imagine my surprise to see that the waitresses were East Indian, and that they were serving clients Mexican Corona beer! So much for traditional British atmosphere.

Well, supper’s over, it’s stopped raining, and the sun’s coming out again. Think I’ll go for a walk.

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