Chapter 2: A life changing friendship

Chapter 2: A life changing friendship

My second trip to the African bush saw me living there permanently; I lived in the South Luangwa for over 12 years. I am not going to lie I was terrified at first. I found it very challenging to be cut off from my family and friends. Only weeks before my life had been about dressing up in high heels and teetering around London bars. Suddenly I was learning to do my 360’s to check for elephant and buffalo while walking to work. I checked my bed for scorpions and tried not to sweat the snakes that hung from our roof. I did manage to dodge the khaki and sand colour scheme and clung to my old wardrobe of fuchsia pinks and sky blues much to my new community’s bemusement!

It was during this first year that I met a wonderful friend, Abi James who now runs Soul Design Jewellery in Cape Town. Like my proposal to Dave, my friendship with Abi changed the course of my life. We hit it off instantly and could make each other cry with laughter on any given topic. She played a large part in helping me survive my first year in the bush.

Abi had set up a small jewellery making project with local ladies in the village while in South Luangwa. As well as teaching them new skills she funded the building of their houses and sponsored their kids through school. But she was leaving at the end of the year and so passed the project onto me. Whilst Abi leaving was devastating, this cardboard box full of beads was the beginning of Mulberry Mongoose and my first step to finding my purpose.

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