2020: January in Review

This is part of my year in review. Writing a single post for all 12 months will make it too long, so I’m breaking each month into a separate post. This is the latest instalment.

Rumours of a contagious virus in China began to ripple through to the southern tip of Africa. ‘Nothing to worry about,’ I thought. ‘It’ll be like all other viruses – contained.’

Well, it didn’t quite turn out that way!

looking out of a plane window
Hurtling down the runway on my way to Mauritius
©2020 Regina Martins

Other than that, the year started off with a bang much like an action movie. Barely 2 weeks into the month I boarded a plane to Mauritius. You’re probably thinking holiday of course! Not this time. It was a work trip, the start of a brand new engagement at our latest client. Going to Mauritius is not arduous at all: it’s only a four-hour plane trip from Joburg, a beautiful tropical paradise, and I have friends there. But I didn’t factor in how hard it would be to spend more than a few days away from my home base so soon after the Christmas holidays. This sounds like a bit of a contradiction – if you look through my blog, you’ll see that I travel. A lot.

Umbrellas at Le Caudan Waterfront
Umbrellas at Le Caudan Waterfront provide respite from the heat of the day. They’re so pretty.
©2020 Regina Martins

I spent one week in Mauritius in January. I reconnected with many of my friends. This was so amazing! And it also felt quite strange walking the same streets and driving the same roads as I did almost 10 years ago only now I was going to different places. There are no uber-type of services on the island so we tried to make use of the local taxi services – that turned out to be unreliable. We held out for 2 days. After many hours of waiting for taxis to arrive, we decided that enough was enough and rented a car. This was the best decision that we made – we regained control over our destiny.

The week was busy and our hotel miles from the beach although we had views of the ocean from the office.  After work on Friday afternoon, we drove the many miles to the beach – we couldn’t go to Mauritius and not put our feet in the water at least once. Storms threatened and were visible just a few miles offshore. On Saturday morning we boarded our flight back to Joburg.


Back in South Africa Operation Prom Dress kicked into action. I joined D&D (my sister and niece) in the search for a prom dress for my niece. She tried many on but there was a clear winner – a beautiful and elegant turquoise creation that suited her so well – which we left at the shop for alterations. We window shopped for shoes but didn’t find a suitable pair.

agile42 CSM training poster
CSM training in Joburg
©2020 Regina Martins

I also delivered my first 2-day Certified Scrum Master course after certifying as a trainer in November 2019. It was the first and only in-person course that I delivered this year – all the others were virtual.

In the meantime ‘coronavirus’ and ‘COVID-19’ became part of our daily lexicon and checking the latest infection numbers in China a diurnal obsession.


February follows …