Unterwegs...

The nomadic life of Mara & Raf

Benifallet, Spain
Easter had a Spanish-Polish-Ukrainian-French-British-German-South African flavour for us this year. We were in Spain and spent the Easter weekend with a group of twelve people, seven cats, one dog and two birds. Our good friends Anna and Remi, whom we have visited a few times before, also had some of their family members and guests from Ukraine staying with them, so it was at times a little crazy and chaotic but in the wonderful…
Stuttgart Germany
We spent the final days of 2019 hanging out and catching up with different relatives and friends in Germany. If 2020 will again provide lots of opportunities for such enjoyable and heart-warming encounters, there’s plenty to look forward to this year!…
During the weeks leading up to Christmas it’s usually dark and wet outside, which means it’s also a great time to stay indoors together with friends and family and to eat. And then you eat some more. Thanks all for some amazing meals and wonderful company!…
Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania
Once a year, our department (the Programme Resources Department consisting of the Development, Emergency, Health, Schools and Communication sections) meets with representatives from donor offices and implementing territories to discuss strategies, policies, challenges and next steps. This year, it was hosted by The Salvation Army in Tanzania at their lovely conference…
Palu, Indonesia
Earlier this year, I wrote about the disaster preparedness and response training in South Africa. This September I was involved in facilitating a similar one in Indonesia. We had 25 enthusiastic delegates from all over the country, good sessions and even a field visit to areas affected by last year’s earthquake,…
Adina Joy Imani was born today and is now nibling number 19. We haven’t met her yet but like all our other nieces and nephews we already love her. Welcome to the family, Adina….
Abaco, The Bahamas
When Hurricane Dorian hit the Bahamas on 1st September it left behind flattened homes and destroyed infrastructure with 65 confirmed deaths and, even several weeks later, 600 people still missing. The Salvation Army on the ground reacted immediately and started to provide support in Freeport and Nassau, giving out…
Benifallet, Spain
We don’t want to bore you with too many details of our multiple trips to our friends’ finca in Catalonia, but we ourselves aren’t bored by a long way, so we’ll keep coming back. This time, our friends Elise and Ruth have joined us here….
Palu, Indonesia
When I left Indonesia after the earthquake, tsunami and liquefaction last year (see blog entry), I got a couple of t-shirts, one of them showing the outline of the Sulawesi island and stating ‘Kami Kuat’. 11 months after the disaster I came back to the island to support our…
Naivasha, Kenya
You’ve probably heard that hippos are among the most dangerous mammals in Africa. But have you had a dozen or so of them grazing in your back garden? We now have! We’re in Kenya to visit Raf’s brother and his family for a few days and together we spent…
Zanzibar, Tanzania
People in Zanzibar love to tell their visitors not to worry at pretty much every suitable and less suitable situation – Hakuna matata. This island clearly caters perfectly for hyper-chilled holidays under the palm trees along its endless beaches. Considering this, we’ve  actually been very active, though. Our good…
Reims, France
The train ride from London to Paris takes a bit more than two hours. That’s quite a lot shorter than when Mara, Elise and I travelled to men’s World Cup games by train in Russia last year. So coming to the women’s event in France this year was an…
London, UK
We love spending time with friends and family members and in recent weeks we have had the chance to spend some quality time with friends and family members who live here in London, but also had some lovely visits from Mara’s parents, Raf’s brother and family (who normally live…
Bridgetown, Barbados
Barbados doesn’t strike you as the most disaster prone country and in fact it isn’t. However, it is in the middle of the Caribbean which faces hurricanes, floods and other disasters. I just got back from 5 days in Haiti and then another 5 in Barbados facilitating a disaster…
Beijing, China
On my way home from China, I’m lucky to be able to spend a bit more than a day in Beijing. On the topic of luck, I’ve been learning about lucky numbers, lucky dragons and a number of other Chinese superstitions. And when the heavens opened and rain came…
Guiyang, China
What do you know about the city of Guiyang in China? Nothing? Well, I was in the same position a few weeks ago. And anyway, it’s only the 59th largest city in China. But this city with a population of about 3 million, is actually much bigger than any…
Jo'burg, South Africa
“The Southern Africa Territory (South Africa, Lesotho, Namibia, Swaziland and St. Helena) is facing a number of hazards including but not limited to wild fires, drought, floods, storms and other natural events. In addition to this it hosts more than 280,000 people of concern (refugees/ asylum seekers) and has…
Mexico City, Mexico
Every year an estimated 500,000 people leave Honduras, El Salvador and Mexico fleeing poverty and violence. They are heading northwards to the US via Mexico in the hope of a better life for them and their children. Whilst this is a situation that has been going on for decades,…