Time to go East again

June 15, 2016


It is just about two weeks before I embark on yet another journey.  My family and friends are now tired of the phrase “..and where’s Helen off to now! I am going East again to revisit friends I am very lucky. This time I will visit Japan, re-visit Cambodia and return to Manchester via Dubai.

All of these countries are special to me and I have a different reason for the visit in each.

In Japan I have a dear friend who is now a Professor of Midwifery. She and I did a Master’s degree in Midwifery Practice many moons ago at Thames Valley University. 1995 to be exact, over 20 years.  We have kept in touch on and off over the years, thanks to email and social media.  This is an opportunity to view Midwifery in Japan and their midwifery education system and to catch up on her children who are all grown up now.


A long time ago just after completing her Masters, she returned to the UK with other professors of Midwifery from Japan. They stayed in my house in Leicester at that time.  My memory is of these ladies doing Tai Chi in my living room. Marvellous.  We also visited Manchester on the same visit. Quite a UK tour and my midwifery colleague in Manchester also gave over her house to the visiting group.  Bless them they got up very early so as to leave the bathroom available for the rest of us.  Can’t wait to hopefully meet these respectful humble women again.

Of course I intend to travel to Tokyo and also visit Hiroshima.  An act of violence against human kind not unlike the Killing fields in Cambodia.


Camboida Jan 2015 (3) 010

In Cambodia I am revisiting Phnom Penh where I spent last January with the RCM Global Midwifery Twinning Project. Again I have kept in touch with the President of the Cambodian Midwives Association and other midwives who shared the experience.  I really cannot wait to meet up with the main translator we used, as we have become firm friends and use all the varieties of communications to keep in touch.

I was only there for a month but hope to revisit the hospital in Phnom Penh and see how things are. I really do hope also to travel to Kampot too which I missed on the previous visit.

Alas a dear friend, who I should have been meeting up with, has broken her leg and has returned to Australia to recuperate. But such a good friend has given me access to her flat for the visit.  I will miss her greatly.

It will be rainy season in Cambodia so I very well might get wet but it will also be very warm. I can’t wait to travel in a Tuk Tuk but will care better for my phone that went missing on the first day of my last visit.

In Dubai I am visiting yet another friend who has birthed twins six mo

nths ago.  We met whilst working in Jeddah Saudi Arabia together 2006/7.  It will be wonderful to see her where she has lived since. I am not sure what to expect of Dubai but at least I can speak a little Arabic still to get me by.

There is of course that very high building to visit. The Burj Khalifa  2, 716ft.


I think the journey will be full of challenges as usual and many, many, contrasts of wealth poverty, climate, language and scenery.  I will try and blog every couple of day’s travel internet connections permitting.