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Sunset over the Mekong: the view from the dinner table

It’s been a while since my last post – family duties have been fun but consuming. And as for work: growth and impact are exciting, but after a while, the “humanitarian endeavour” gets, well, to be tiring.

And so, thanks to the extraordinary generosity of two like-minded friends who understand my second predicament and are soon to discover the joy of the first, I found myself, with family in tow, in Laos, for a holiday.

And here’s the news – da da da – the iPhone, Blackberry and laptop stayed switched off. Actually, that’s not quite true, as I sneaked a couple of tweets, and had a wobble on day 2. But after that, I did manage to switch off work for 7 days. Unbelievable. Seven whole days. Pathetic really!

It’s been a time of reflection, and it certainly felt good to have a break, in a cold turkey kind of way. Here’s how it goes: first the sweats and shakes, then the paranoia, then the angst, then the calm. I exaggerate a little, as I didn’t have ALL those symptoms, and I’m making the holiday sound as though it wasn’t much fun.

But it was, and for now, I’ve re-calibrated and been refreshed by the wonderful combination of family and friendship, along with the delights of the Mekong, sunset dinners, elephant riding, breathtaking waterfalls, and the tenacity and warmth of a people in a far-away land.

Here’s to my continued rehabilitation…

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Ben Emmens