Is it too late to say Happy New Year? Well, better late than never is what I always say. You have all probably been wondering what on earth I have been up to and why the extended absence of leave. Rest assured my friends, I am still very passionate about food, creating recipes and promoting African culture. I have just had to try to do it in a variety of ways to suit where I am at this point in my life.
For instance, I have FINALLY jumped onto the Instagram band wagon and have been sharing a lot on there over the past 2 months. I have also recently returned from an amazing holiday in Zimbabwe where I learned so much about food, you wouldn’t believe it. So, in a sense, I have been up to… well… a lot.
I have successfully (can I say success, yes, I have achieved success, I am a success… am I allowed to say that? YES) completed a 2 year marathon in the form of my MSc. I thought I would never see the finish line, I was anxious for 2 years about what I would cover in my dissertation and whether I would do well. I was anxious about where I would find the time for in depth study and how well I would do. It was an MSc in Construction Economics and Management. Something I am very proud of and I felt it was important to acquire those skills in order to understand and perhaps handle the sort of issues faced by developing nations. Issues such as the lack of infrastructure i.e. electricity, water and transport are crippling to the economy and holds these countries back. Furthermore, the lack of adequate infrastructure has an especially negative impact on women and children.
I embarked on this journey in September 2011, exactly a month after starting a new job, and believe you me, I had to work hard for it. At the time, I had a little girl just under 2 years old, an extremely supportive husband (who has been for 10 years this month (February 2014), yay, and still is) and an aggressive sense of motivation to succeed in my endeavours.
So I finally started my MSc journey, and I was so happy to because I chose to wait patiently for a number of years to qualify as a local student, so that I didn’t have to pay twice the amount of course fees as in international student. During this time, I was a soldier. I worked early days and took care of the kid in the evenings when I got home at 6 pm. My husband took care of the kid in the mornings so I got to work at about 7:30 am, after hitting the gym at 6:30 am, and leaving home at 5:30 am, and I worked till about 5 pm to make up my hours that I attended class. After all, I was given much responsibility in my job and I felt I had to prove my worth. But, where did I find the time to study as well as work a full time job, as well as be a wife (including playboy bunny, he he, got that one from a dear friend) 😉 and mother, have a second baby, cook, run a home, be a good sister and friend, as well as blog as well as make YouTube videos as well as bridging the gap for African women as well as broker suppliers for ethical fashion and the list goes on.
Is this madness?
I guess the heart wants what it wants and sometimes people are born with an insatiable desire to achieve something, to promote a cause, be a part of something… or to BE someone. So I have done all that and have got to a point where I have to take a step back…
2013 was such a good year to me, even in the little things I do. I shared the news on my Instagram, but in case you missed it, My Burnt Orange actually made it onto Arik Air Wings magazine’s “Sub-Saharan Supper Club” piece… in print… in a magazine y’all! I love doing what I do with My Burnt Orange, and things like this, along with the comments you send me about surprising your Ghanaian lover with a dish he or she never knew you could make, are very heart warming.
I have 2 beautiful little girls now. They are so so beautiful and I cherish the weekends I get to enjoy thoroughly with them now that the studies are behind me (for now?). And when I work this hard, believe me, I am working for them. It is ALL for them. To provide for them, educate them, inspire them, be an example for them and show them how much women can do, what we are capable of.
I have also learned over the past couple of years to let go of certain things. I am no super woman and I can’t do it all.
I shouldn’t have to.
And so, I am making some adjustments. I will keep you posted.
So go cook something.
And eat it.