Sunday, 9 July 2017


I was teaching Latin in school, when I put up a slide of the answers.
My pupils stared in silence.
One or two of them cast a glance in my direction.  The rest just went on staring. 
I inspected the screen – it was obvious in a flash that every single “model answer” was wrong.
Should I tell them why?
In fact, all I said was: “I’m terribly sorry – those are all wrong.  Let’s do it on the whiteboard instead.”

So what was wrong?  

Carenza was back-packing on her own in the Far East for 3 months.  And she hadn’t WhatsApped us for three days.
I had begun to wonder about tracking her down – how did they go about it in international thrillers? 
Of course she was soon back in touch – she had just away from the Internet, or out of signal , or maybe just having a really, really great time.
After that it was weeks until the next real scare – just about to run an adult class, I checked my phone to see if any students would be absent.  From another girl’s phone she had emailed “Hello – it’s Carenza here.  I have left my phone in the hostel in Mandalay.   I am trekking across country to Lake Inle and the phone will catch up with me when I get there in three days.
And miraculously, it did.

But just for the last two days I have not been worried at all as she has been safe with our friends in Singapore.  Carenza has enjoyed wonderful hospitality, and I have had a small oasis in my maternal fretting.  Thanks Mark, Adri, Kit, Dan, Thea & Ben.

Photo by Adri