My Amputee Life In Pictures
Back in April when I launched The Active Amputee, I kicked off with a series of articles called ,My Journey To Losing My Leg‘ describing the long battle between first being diagnosed with cancer in the mid-1980s to finally making the decision to have my leg amputated in late 2005. A lot has happened since. And as many people asked how the journey continued, here are some snapshots what my life is all about.
Living Life To Its Fullest
I am a father of three amazing children and husband of an equally amazing wife. With three very active kids, things never get boring and you are constantly on your toes.
My time in Africa
Since the mid 1990s I have lived and worked in several African countries, ranging from South Africa in the south to Kenya in the east to Liberia in the west. This was partly with two legs, partly with one. And while my work in recent years shifted to south and south east Asia, I am still hoping to return to the African continent sooner or later.
My time in Asia
Since 2007 I am more and more involved with Asia. I have lived in Timor Leste between 2007 and 2009. In addition I have worked for shorter periods of time in a variety of Asian countries. Places as diverse as Pakistan and Sri Lanka, Cambodia and Nepal, India and Indonesia.
My love for the outdoors
I am a great fan of the outdoors, always have been and long to spend as much time out in mother nature as possible. Anything from small walks in the hills to long treks, anything from a week-end away paddling along the coast to weeks exploring a new country.
My speedy recovery
A can be pretty stubborn. And while this might annoy some people around me, it‘s been an amazing asset helping me to recover quickly after the amputation. After three months I was out in the hills, after four months I was back at work full time, after five months I was back in east Africa and to commemorate the first anniversary of the amputation I traveled to Morocco and hiked in the Atlas Mountains.
Despite my amputation, I love strolling through the hills and hiking up and down mountain slopes. Sometimes alone, sometimes with family and friends, sometimes with my little one on the back. At the moment it‘s mostly day hikes. And one of my birthday specials will be to head out to Snowdonia this coming weekend, do a ridge walk and camp somewhere up in the hills - weather permitting.
And from hill walking and hikes in the mountains it‘s only a small step to climbing: Another passion of mine. Mostly indoors, though. In 2016 I came second overall in the British Paraclimb Series. At the moment I am trying to get more experience with real rock, hoping to soon master the necessary skills for confidently climbing trad routes. So 2017 you will see me more and more outside in the crags.
Although I am pretty new to the sport and not nearly as good as I‘d liked to be, I‘ve developed a great passion for kayaking. Especially sea kayaking. And I hope to develop my skills further, dreaming of a long sea kayaking trip in northern Norway.
For work as well as for pleasure, I always loved traveling, exploring new countries, meeting people, getting to know new cultures. So far I had the privilege of visiting close to 50 countries. I am a great fan of slow means of transport and enjoy long rides on local busses, trains, the back of lorries - whatever is the main mode of transport in a place.
I am an experienced development practitioner, focussing on conflict transformation and peacebuilding issues. I have a proven track record of working creatively and to a very high standard in often immensely challenging environments. I have worked with dozens of organisations in Africa, Asia and Europe and are currently setting up a new resource page for people working in and on conflict: The Peacebuilding Practitioner.
I am a book worm. Book as in made out of paper, not ebooks/Kindle. And although I hardly find the time for reading at the moment, I still buy new books at a rate of the days when I was still single and read several books a week. I am a bit of a photography geek and hardly leave the house without a camera. It‘s portraits and people that fascinate me most. I am an anarchic chef and love good food and cooking and eating with others, sitting for hours around the dinner table, chatting the night away.
And yes, I like to be actively involved in anything that has to do with my prosthesis. I am very lucky that my prosthetists actually enjoy this active - and sometimes demanding - approach. They are great and second to none in this field. „Thanks Marco, Philip and Thilo from Leistungszentrum for Orthopädietechnik in Osterhofen!“
Post by Bjoern Eser, the creator of The Active Amputee.