I was never the natural businessman but through shear persistence, learning from my innumerable mistakes and a lot of late night reading I think I eventually got the hang of it. The company finally seemed to have a profitable and glorious future ahead.
Ultimately however, increasingly rampant corruption, crass government policies and unimaginable incompetence within departments pushed us to the limits. This, coupled with an ever more adversarial nature displayed by the majority of our clients, finally defeated me.
After 21 years in Ethiopia there is no fight left in me and no more reason to fight. The country has taken everything I own and left me with nothing of pecuniary value. Yet I bless the nation and its people for 21 years of wonderful memories, a few steadfast friendships and most of all for my beautiful children; adopted at birth and now ready to go to university. Despite my misgivings Sandford School has turned out two wonderful, intelligent, loving children in whom I am well pleased.
I want to apologise to anyone who feels I may have let them down in some way. But most of all I want to encourage those who have worked with me and shared the triumphs and disasters, to move on to greater things of which I know you are all capable. Despite anything anyone outside the company might have said in the past I have enjoyed the challenge every single day and have taken immense pride in all that we have achieved together. We leave an amazing legacy; landmark buildings of which we can all say ‘I was a part of the team that created that’.
I look forward with trepidation and excitement to the future and wish you all the very best.