I’ve been meaning to write this post since leaving London a few weeks ago but now seems like the right time as so many of us are sending our thoughts that way today. Perhaps these mentions will help newcomers to the city of Smoke and Magic or reinvigorate those who have been there a long time.
Community seemed like an abstract concept prior coming to live in a big city. Fortunately, SOAS was the best place to start. The first time I arrived on campus I felt at home; it was just like being at Warren Wilson. New friends weren’t made, they were recognised. Reverberations extended to Morning Gloryville which is a land all to its own. The only effort I had to furnish was in finding a gym trainer which fulfilled a long-time goal of working with someone affiliated with Gym Jones.
But London not only fulfilled my existing soul, new interests were also awoken in London. When coach Piete left London to fulfil dreams of his own, Glove Up boxing gym adopted me. From there, I met my flatmate and finally settled down to have a place to come back to after the constant boomeranging that is the work of a nomadic linguist and there I found the great group working with the Community Garden Project in Wandsworth.
Another new love I discovered in London was that of cycling. After my bike was baptised at Critical Mass, I inadvertently volunteered to help lead a group ride for the London Cycling Campaign and then attended every event of theirs I could ever since.
I learned about a Greek Whistling Language, attended Carnaval in Guinea Bissau, experienced the tranquility of Poland, and of course, Eloped in Senegal to The Gambia. Despite my usual habit of being a lonesome wolf, all of these journeys were far more enjoyable because they were done in the company of companions, all of whom I met in London.
And last, but really first, I extend my deepest gratitude to Friederike Lüpke and the Crossroads Team first for having the faith in me and bringing me to London, both for the interview which not only gained me my dream job but also allowed me to travel from Burkina Faso to glimpse one of my favourite bands live, and second for becoming a most fantastic family.