Still in Philadelphia, but only for a couple more days. This bit of the trip is funny – we’re all here, getting to know each other, going out for dinner, theatre, dancing; but we know that this is only for a few days and soon we’ll be heading out on the road and at certain points, being alone or with just one other fellow. So it’s a bittersweet thing. We all wnat to get going, but will sorry to split from the group. The people are brilliant. I’ve mentioned Irina, from Romania. There’s Gil from Israel, a high school principal, an observant Jew, and one of the most engaging people I’ve met, open to all sorts of new experiences. There’s Iyad from Palestine, who loves to dance. Bolormaa from Mongolia, who went to the School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and, I get the feeling, is nostalgic for some things from the UK. Just to mention a very few. What a great opportunity, to meet this intelligent and creative group.
We’ve got our group photo tonight and then a dinner with all the Fellows. Tomorrow will be really fun – getting down to brass tacks and seeing how the plans are going for our next few weeks of meetings. I met Raj from North Carolina who is organising my programme there, he’s a lot of fun and we should have a good time down there, me and Khalid and whoever else is going.
Next stop is Washington and I should be seeing N Peter, which will be great – it’s been ages.
It’s been lovely to hear from people over the last few days, from Janez and the others at his birthday party (you should have seen how excited I was when I heard your message), my e-mails from Pa, messages from the Gillands, news from Abi about how she’s getting on and from Simona about my girls. Keep it coming, people, as I am missing you all quite a lot…to say the least.