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  • I woke up in my bed in a hotel on the most northern tip of Zanzibar. My two best friends were dozing under mosquito nets on their beds and the dawn light had just hit the orange curtains in our room. The sounds of this unfamiliar world came into focus..... the hum of ceiling fans mixed with the low roar of waves breaking down on the beach. I turn over on my bed and CRASH my bed breaks! The slats underneath the mattress have come loose and fallen through the frame, me along with them. The commotion wakes my friends and they look up, see my predicament, and laugh as only your best friends would. I fight my way out of the wreckage and through the mosquito net and survey the scene. Not good. I’m wide awake but there’s no way I can be bothered to put that bed back together just at the moment. I see the gorgeous pink light of morning through the window and decide to head to the hammocks near the beach and leave my friends to lie in.

    Seeing as it’s so early, I head out in my pyjamas as nobody will be around to see me. No shoes on, hair hanging free, phone in hand, I follow the path through the plants, around the bungalows, and down the sandy steps towards the ocean. The pink and gold light is incredible, the soft tropical breeze is cool and vitalizing before the heat of the day sets in, and the view of the ocean is nothing short of jaw dropping. I stop on the steps and look out, vowing never to forget what it feels like to experience such beauty. I take a deep breath and stare, and stare, and stare, watching the sun sparkle on the sea.

    My phone buzzes with new emails courtesy of the hotel WIFI and I continue on my way down to the beach. I’m still amazed that news from home can find you at the ends of the earth. And what news it was. An email from my university advising me that my thesis had been accepted. Ten years of work, approved and completed. The email was even addressed “Dear Doctor”. I perched on the edge of a hammock staring out to sea, the ups and downs of those ten years running through my mind. I let out a deep and delighted sigh that flew away slowly and steadily into the tropical breeze. And then I broke into a grin that I doubt my cheeks will ever forget.

    So, in summary:- I’m in paradise. I’m on holidays. I’m with my two best friends. And I’ve just heard that my PhD has been accepted after ten years of hard work. I think that bed broke on purpose to get me up in time to enjoy every second of one of the best moments of my life!
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