4… 3… 2… 1… 0… Deception, demotivation, depression, defeat, DEFENDER!…

2015 was a count down on computers. In February, I was happily travelling with 4 computers.

Wow! would you say! Do you really need that many? To be honest, yes… And it was a mission to find space for them, even though they were all laptops, and 2 of them were 7″.
So how come do I have 4 laptops and why did I need all this?

I had my laptop and I brought 2 old laptops from home, with specific beneficiaries in mind. Unfortunately, they needed some attention to come back to life. But, anything is possible in Africa (yes… it is…).

When I asked someone I knew in IT in South Africa, explaining the purpose of the laptop, well, instead of fixing it, he gave me another one! So, now, I had 3 laptops to give. Even better then I started off with.
Along the way, the laptop found their happy homes. Not without some challenges to get them all to work, but still.

One laptop is now somewhere in Bali. The second one is in Zambia and the third one in Zimbabwe.

A few weeks after I gave the last laptop, mine was stolen in the car, in the campsite… All projects, all softwares, a lot of photos that were not yet on external drive (3 months worth!)

In itself that was a blow. But the timing could also not have been worse. It happened the day after attentats in France, when I was already feeling helpless and isolated, far from home, alone.

I went through a whole lot of emotions, in a down spiral.

Deception: this happened in a place where I went a few time for a project, spent a lot of hours, days, weeks (actually… A few months altogether…). I felt so disappointed by the payback.

Demotivation: Why am I even trying? Why not just go back? What’s the point? Who am I anyway? I have lost most of the work I have done to date, and in particular the one for this area… I concentrated on another project, spent time at home, got a new laptop. But still the demotivation was at the back of my mind.

Depression: at first I did not realise how bad this did affect me. But the demotivation grew into a bit of a depression. I had friends along the way, taking my mind off it, keeping busy on other things. Concentrating on a project… which did not go through (not helping!)… Still I really felt alone and isolated.

Defeat: Is that it? Just giving up? A “little” issue and now you are ready to stop trying? Giving up on your dream and beliefs on what can be achieved?

That’s when, Maya, the Defender, came to the rescue, along with a little kid… Once again… She represents why I am here (for me anyway). And I had to defend it! She reminded me of her words to the world: “… we also have to overcome obstacles,… Don’t let those obstacles stop your way. They are just road bumps. Never give up.”

She reminded me of that little kid. I had made a promise. And I had to honor it. So back on the saddle. We are now riding full speed again. Even with more energy and faith than when we started.

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Selfie training… My motivation to keep going…

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