So one of the first things I took the pleasure in doing parting from the near 800 strong Mexican staff and students from the IQUF 2012 in Paris, having a whole day to waste in the poxy Charles de Gaulle´s Terminal 3 and having lost touch with my most literate days after months of cramped thoughts, I picked up a book…

The book itself was an after thought. I had packed a few into my rucksack but this was left out until I decided to pack something also in my hand luggage. The book has been kicking around in my life for some years now. About 4 or 5 or since I first told my dad I had a dream to walk across Spain. Reading it now I realise he once fancied himself to be a little Laurie Lee, bounding across the countryside, breathing in the experience and flirting with the local girls.

Well I think I´ve learnt a little about us. I´m often worried at the fact that I might one day become more like my dad than I hope to, but I realise that I wish I had a little more of what he did when he was Laurie´s age (or younger, I think he was 17 when he began hitching across Europe).

Inside the book I found a small negative with what I think is my dad sat on the wing of an RAF fighter during his brief time with the Navy. It was unexpected and I´m glad he´s coming with me. My dad is often the devil´s advocate in my life. Whatever I might complain about he has a riddle for; however bad I think it´s gotten, he´s had it worse; whenever I´m at my wit´s end or facing a dilemma, he has a comment to make about the head that sits on my shoulders. And I think it´s because he knows it, and he doesn´t want me to make the same mistakes he has. Thank you. The sad fact is that I´ve begun to stop listening to people. Really listening to them. With so much to do and such little time to do it in, only I have moments spare for action and nothing else.

For sure, he hasn´t scaled MacchuPicchu or waded through the Amazon but listening to my dad know, through the book and through the time I´ve overlooked with him, I believe he´s still going to teach me some valuable lessons on this journey.

It´s been a rough few months and I can´t lie and say I´m not nervous. I´ve got a million worries and hesitations that I´m not sure really exist or not. I hope the next few months and the ensuing journey are going to give me the chance to become more of a man – lose my own ego and the flippancy with which I´ve come to lead my life with such little time. More than anything I hope to reopen my ears, hear the lost voices and lend a helping hand instead of trying to coax one . I can feel a change coming. I just hope everyone still recognises me when I come back. I love you all and I´ll miss you.

Saludos de Madrid xx

Follow the link to learn about the flooding in Iquitos – the Amazon´s largest city not accessible by road. Over 100,000 affected by the flooding in February.

Hopefully I will be able to bring you more news on the state of things out there and how we can help the communities affected.

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Well thank you very much WordPress for stealing my intro. But the automated “Hello World” title is really quite apt for me at the moment anyway. And I´m not talking about my most recent attempt at posting a blog here, no.

Right now I´m in Madrid but tomorrow I´m flying half way round the world to Lima, Peru to begin working with Canadian NGO Operation Groundswell . . . and it still hasn´t hit me.

The last few months have been a bit of a whirlwind getting my feet off the ground but I´ve learnt a lot. More about myself than I realised I had to but we´re not all as clever as we think we are unfortunately. Last night on a pub crawl in Madrid I had a schooling but I don´t think the lesson is over. I´ve got a huge adventure ahead of me, filled with responsibility, opportunity to help, and life lessons.

A couple of people have said to me so far that I won´t come back the same and I can already feel myself changing. Predictions and omens can come true depending on the atmosphere. Have you ever had a pathetic fallacy rain all over yuor head for example?

I have no idea what to hope and what to hold for this blog but let it be what it is: a way for the people I love to hear my voice from halfway round the world.