Olivia Hutchings


Olivia Hutchings

Africa » Mauritius » Flacq June 18th 2015

“Make sure the prawns are ready, Santa’s almost here!” Perspiration clung to the foreheads of the staff as they busied themselves with adjusting table decorations. This year, I had been relieved of the pressure of Christmas at home and, for, two weeks, whilst on a once-in-a-life-time-never-to-be-repeated-for-fear-of-being-disowed-by-the-family holiday, that pressure had been consigned to someone else. The waiters re-adjusted their bow-ties as the manager announced (just a little too eagerly) to a crowded beach “Santa’s here!” Mauritius is a tropical island and I had quickly learnt that ‘tropical’ translates to ‘it will rain a lot’. After eight days of persistent rain storms and with the long-awaited arrival of clear-blue skies, the residents of Flic-en-Flac beach (myself included) were more than a little rel... read more

Africa » Ghana » Central » Elmina October 17th 2014

International Airports are so comfortingly alike in their customs and procedures, always, reassuringly, involving a passport, a queue and, invariably, a bit of a panic and, with all these elements in place, I was welcomed into Accra. Readying myself for the ‘wave of heat’ that I had been assured would hit me once I exited the terminal, I was surprised and, admittedly, a little disappointed by the muggy, sticky drizzle that darkened the unfamiliar sky; the pacifying sound of rain jarringly juxtaposed with unknown surroundings and the hum of an unfamiliar tongue. “Madam Olivia!” I heard my name called from deep within the crowd. “Madam Olivia!” I heard again, the voice full of warmth and kindness. After having met just once before in the UK, Seth had become a true friend; a fellow teacher, in the ... read more
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Africa » Morocco » Fès-Boulemane » Fes July 1st 2014

The taxi door was held shut with Sellotape and bumper stickers. A string of brightly coloured beads hung from the rear-view mirror, bouncing frenetically in response to the many bumps and potholes that littered Fez’s side streets. As a typical student, I was desperate to ‘see the world’; find somewhere untouched by tourism and all manner of other clichés easily recognizable in an early twenty-something. For me, it became about the ‘Coca Cola Test’; it’s a relatively well known fact that, even in the most remote countries in the most obscure and rarely frequented parts of the world, it’s almost always possible to buy a Coke. Whether this is from a languid street vendor, sitting beneath a parasol beside a dusty road or served in an iced glass inside an air-conditioned, Westernized shopping palace, Coke is ... read more

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