Hello, I’m Mo!

A Civil Engineer by profession, based in England. Work-life balance is ideally important. Hence, in my free time I explore the world by taking you for a walk with me on national & international travels along with my ethnic journey as a Civil Engineer.

  • A Language of Togetherness

    A mini wooden goal post

    A year ago, I went back home – Sierra Leone. A trip of a lifetime. I wanted to reconnect and reminisce with that of my upbringing and reflect on the journey of transformation so far.

    What re-ignites these reconnections are the moments of laughter and fun, occasionally some bruises too. As for many boys/men growing up it was Football – street football in third world countries. Using natural environmental materials at disposal to be creative in order to have fun. Stones/timber as goal post, flip-flops as boots, our daily casual clothes as match-kits (sometimes vestless). Amongst the midst of cars & bikes constantly flowing past we often stop and resume once they’ve vanished.

    A mix of Olders and youngers dripping in sweats under a 40 plus degrees heat, sweats sometimes washed away from our skin down into the Gutters of Freetown during rainy season. The best sensation was when it rains. We try to avoid kicking the ball into the open gutters flowing in high velocity of rainy waters as you’d end up chasing it forever. Bystanders stalling; wanting to be a part of the scene as they too could relate to the atmospheric adrenaline of adults & kids in flip flops kicking ball made out of used plastic. The energy is competitive and special.

    I was strolling in the neighbourhood at some point during my visit and came across this scenery – once again. But this time I was the bystander who stalled, admired and took pictures. Itching to blend in once more, smiled at how lucky they are to be playing on a tarmac floor as I didn’t have such luxury growing up.

    A way to pay tribute before my departure was to organise a football match calling on all the Olders & youngers within the neighbourhood I grew up in. People who played a significant part in my life – like literally. They turned up in abundance having conservations with each other on: ‘Last time I saw you was 2yrs ago’ or ‘I haven’t seen this guy for God knows how long‘. We played, had food refreshment, reminisce and went our separate ways. A hobby best described as a language of togetherness.

  • Florence – Italy


    Two things that comes to mind when someone mentions the city of Florence : Leonardo Da vinci & The Medici family. Well for me anyway. That’s probably because I watched the TV series _ ‘Da Vinci’s Demons’ for like 3 times, obsessively.

    A show that digs into the history of its people, rulers and at the time known as the city of centre Renaissance. Thus prior to visiting Firenze you’d say I somewhat fairly knew of its history.

    If you are looking to party-hard I kindly suggest you look for somewhere else because this is a city rich in medieval architecture, art & poetry. Sadly, as a solo traveller I was only there for 2 days.

    I stayed at a hostel called ‘Plus Florence’ (see on map below) which I’d highly recommend for solo & group travellers. Located pretty much bang on at the centre of Florence and its attractions. Reasonably cheap ( £65 for 2 nights), along with a splendid rooftop view, swimming pool and more.

    Worth the money! A confined city that you could walk to any designated attraction with ease.

    I think the main attraction drawn to most travellers is the Duomo – Santa Maria del Fiore. A Landmark Engineered with an unmissable red dome structure that can be seen from wherever you are in Firenze.

    I also loved the ‘Ponte vecchio’ arched river bridge with shops literally sitting on top of it structure. There are definitely more attractions to visit such as the likes of Leonardo interactive museum, Pitti palace, Uffizi gallery, David of Michelangelo and more.

    I briefly met some amazing people/travellers like myself from various continental destinations and you’d be amazed how much you have in common and how aligned your travelling plans are with theirs. It was indeed a great ‘walking’ experience!

    ‘Ponte vecchio‘ 2021

  • There’s always a Twist!

    I don’t want to start by defining what Civil Engineering is or what it fully entail. You may get bored or start to think I’m smart. Yes I do get the ‘wows’ from people followed by a raise in the eye brows and a brief moment of pause, whenever someone asks me what I do. Believe me, I’m not smart I’m just like YOU. Any course/degree is equally as challenging as the others. Now, think of everything around you.

    Your house, place of work, place of exercise/sport, leisure & shopping centres, pedestrian and cyclist pavements, the roads you relentlessly drive on everyday to work, trains you hop on everyday to dodge traffic, some of the magic tricks behind your daily energy supply, the safety and soothing bedrock behind the take-offs and landing from the aeroplanes in the airports, bridges & skyscrapers.

    You probably only captured the last two – ‘bridges & skyscrapers’, right? Perhaps not! In short Civil Engineering : designs, builds and maintain infrastructures around you. In what areas exactly? you may ask. Four key areas :

    Structural, Geotechnical, Hydraulics/drainage & Transportation. You get your bridges, skyscrapers, buildings from the first one. This’s where you’d find the math gurus’ as they work out all the mathematics involved (using software simulations) of any structural construction ensuring it doesn’t collapse.

    Before you build anything you need to ensure that the ground/soil is fit for purpose – This’s where the Geotechnical Kings walks in, making sure that your building doesn’t sink into the ground pre & post after construction. Most/some of your energy supply comes from natural and renewable sources – eg water.

    Dams are built to enhance and generate the force of water which is converted from mechanical to electrical energy and in turn switches on your TV. Yes, literally switches on your TV. Potable water pipes are carefully distributed in the ground and strategically designed to allow the right amount of water to households & cyclically whenever you flush your toilets it goes somewhere safe and gets treated (sewage treatment plants) carefully.

    Drainage/gutters designed to circulate and distribute surface water we get from various rainfalls – which in turn prevents flooding. This’s where the Hydraulics/drainage minds takeover. Finally, Transportation! the biggest of all where you have your roads/highways, train tracks and airports. At this point I may have bored you but hang in there.

    As a Civil Engineer you could work in any of these 4 sectors depending on whether you want to be on site or in the office or perhaps a bit of both. Meaning, if you choose to be on the design side you could be designing anything from those 4.

    Whereas, if you’re a more practical and hands person you’d be working on site, managing Engineering works and see everything being built from scratch and at the same time doing office/design based work (depending on who you work for). What ever floats your boat. Right…! Interestingly, before I chose this path, I was on a completely different one years back. I call it a twist. There’s always a twist to a journey.

    My Engineering Journey started in Milton Keynes College. Where I spent a substantial amount of years (4yrs) studying a mixture of electrical, mechanical and a bit of design.

    More like what you would call generic Engineering. To be honest I have forgotten most of what I learnt – remember I told you I’m not smart. But it created a path to which I was exposed to the different types of Engineering out there, before going to University.

    My time there was great, fun, friendly and teachers were very kind and supportive. Hopefully I get to revisit there someday. I know you thought you’d be seeing pictures of bridges etc…hang in there we will get there, eventually. For now sit tight and you’d see how everything start to unfold, indeed there is more to tell and more be told.

  • A walk to Gloucester & Cirencester

    South west of England is a county called Gloucestershire. A county that houses other towns within it circumference known for it medieval history and Forest of dean (which we would get into on ‘Nature’ another time) . Two of which I visited were Gloucester and Cirencester. Lets start with Gloucester.

    At first I didn’t know what to expect when I got there: unusual, quiet, different, low-key, easy-going, history. These were the words that came to mind. Until I stretched my legs out of the Airbnb apartment I was staying, walked down the road and was hit with the view of ‘Gloucester docks’. There was so much information to absorb all at once. Out burst with leisurely sights of eateries, shopping outlet, canal and restored Victorian warehouses.

    Lingering around these beautiful scenery gave me a fundamental insight to its people and history. History dating all the way back to Roman times. Anyway, I didn’t just want to be trapped into these collective attractions as I thought there has to be more. Yes, MORE. About 10-15 minute from the docks is the city’s shopping centre and Cathedral.

    If you are a fan of Harry Potter then you should probably visit this gothic historical cathedral. I went back to the shopping outlet to have a browse – which was one of a kind by the way! before stopping by a Caribbean restaurant to fill up me belly. The food was indeed banging!

    Now, Cirencester isn’t that much different from that of Gloucester. A small town lively, cultural and relaxing. It also has its own history and uniqueness. Old gothic and Victorian vibe, strict in sticking to its oldness; that of which makes it invaluable and unique.

    A thing I love about Cirencester. You could easily grab a meal or cup of coffee, sit outside and enjoy a pleasant view down the lane/s. Oh yeah, I did take a walk into an enclosed food and shopping muse called ‘The Corn Hall’. Again, very different in so many ways. In there you’d find art, books, jewellery, clothing, food and more. Definitely a place to stop by.

  • ,

    Telscombe cliffs – Peacehaven

    South of England, east Sussex along the A259 and 6 miles from Brighton. I must say this walk was one of my favourite walks (if not my favourite). An atmosphere full of vibrancy splattered on a platter of richness. Rich in colours. Rich in oxygen . Rich in health. Rich in wealth.

    A place to interact with nature and its people. As I strolled up and down the pavement of such magnificent view I saw people on bicycles, walks, jogs , cars and some really fine houses. Believe it or not you would beg for the traffic lights to stay on red forever, just so you could have a glance of its wonderful views.

    I remember my first time driving by, it was so short-lived because I was trying to capture and absorb all its beauty, left to right. I guess the traffic lights weren’t so kind to me that day.

    Anyway, I purposely planned my next visit. However, I knew it would be a very long walk so I decided to drive and park at a spot where I could capture a lot of its essence. Oh right.. did I forget to mention it has a beach? sorry we will get to that part later.

    I was more attracted to the chalk cliffs and greenery look and how you could literally sit at the top of it and be faced with a peaceful & mind-blowing view from the sea. I also wanted to capture the movements of the subjects, which are its people that brings this amazing naturistic view to life.

    As promised, the beach! I walked down the cliffs after interacting with those at the top. To be amazed with another relaxing view of people enjoying the water, sun and calm breeze. I know you’d prefer a sandy beach but have you thought of trying pebbles? or some would say stone beaches.

    This pebble beach was not as big as your average beach but it was welcoming and comfortable. If you ever get to visit, be sure not to be a victim of the traffic lights.

  • Lungi to Freetown!

    Distinguished by the North Atlantic ocean lies Lungi and Freetown. Yes Free-town! The Motherland, the land of the free and the capital to Sierra Leone. Some may know it by the country of ‘Blood Diamonds’, others as ‘Mama Salone’. My first visit in 8 years was indeed a memorable one. But first, to get to Freetown you have to stop by Lungi. A small town in the Northern Province roughly under 20,000 population.

    It houses the only Airport and Ferry terminal in the country, hence why you have no choice but to stop by. To get to Freetown from Lungi you could either drive (just over an hour) or hop on the ferry (40mins). Interestingly, I had very limited childhood memories about any of this, as Lungi is the kind of town you visit if you’re flying in/out of the country.

    Cyclically, thousands of people from this town take the ferry to the capital every morning for business purposes, visiting and hustling. Thus, this was somewhat new experience for the likes of me.

    Right..where were we again? – Lungi to Freetown. Prior to getting the ferry to Freetown we stayed for the night at some relatives, where I was able reconnect, relax and refuel before heading to Freetown the next morning where my friends & extended families awaits. Well I took them by surprise as I didn’t inform anyone I was coming.

    The next morning we headed to the ferry terminal and I was able to capture a few vital moments (not the best of pictures, as I was busy overwhelmed by its fast-pace scenery) of its people during the morning rush hour of daily hustlers fleeing to Freetown. Just incase you haven’t noticed, you could also travel via a speed boat but being on the ferry with all these people is fun and fascinating. Off we go to Freetown!