I'm writing this email to let everyone know that, due to some unavoidable and very pressing personal issues, I won't be able to attend Worlds in Botswana.
As you can imagine, this has not been an easy decision to take. I am very aware of the commitment that I made to the Worlds community last year when I took on the role of chairing the Council, and I feel extremely disappointed that I will not be able to be with you in Botswana. Please trust me when I say that I have explored every possible means of getting past the obstacles and attending, even if only for the Council meeting on 1st January, but the reality is that I haven't been able to find a way to make that happen.
I have been blessed, though, with the support over the past year of two fantastically able and devoted people in Duncan and Joe, and I know that they will be able to carry forward the necessary work over the next ten days to ensure that Council operates effectively and fulfils its mandate - particularly in the light of the important discussions that are scheduled to take place this year. This year more than ever the three of us have acted as a cooperative Secretariat rather than as three individual officers with separate roles, so I am sure that there will be 100% continuity taking things forward. I have also asked Steve Johnson, who has held executive roles on Council in the past, to assist Duncan and Joe with the running of meetings, and I am delighted and very grateful that he has agreed to do so.
Meanwhile, I will be pretty much 100% offline (both specifically and metaphorically) for the next few weeks while I attend to these personal matters. Hopefully all will be resolved - and rest assured that I'm not ill! - and I will be back towards the end of January. While that happens, though, I will have to leave things to Duncan, Joe, Steve and to all of you to carry forward through Worlds and out the other side. I wish them - and you - every success in sorting out the issues that face us as a community, and in ensuring that everything is in place for DLSU and beyond.
Once again, I am terribly, terribly sorry for not being able to come to Botswana. I am sure that it will be a fantastic event, and I look forward to catching up with all the news, results and outcomes when I get back.
All the very best,