Distant Horizons: My Reflections

This is the story of a man of courage, a story of our times. In 2011 President James Michel published his autobiography and shared the journey of his political career and private life. He begins his story as a boy; As a young boy, I would often walk barefoot along the sandy beach of Anse à La Mouche on Mahé’s west coast. The shoreline was lined with takamaka trees and the pungent smell of their blossom wafted on the breeze. Alone in my thoughts, I launched my little boat made of coconut husk and looked across the turquoise sea to the distant horizon, wondering what lay beyond. At night, I turned my head to the dark, tropical sky peppered with the bright lights of a myriad of stars, and again I sought answers. Our own planet seemed so small within this vast universe. There was so much to discover, so much to do. Of course, then, I had no idea about my own destiny. Certainly, if anyone had suggested that I would one day be President of our nation (which was still a colony, with any thoughts of independence still a distant dream) I would have been disbelieving. Being smaller than most of my contemporaries, shy and quite timid as a youngster, a boy who liked nothing more than to sit under a tree reading a book (whenever I could get hold of one), the very prospect was beyond my comprehension. And yet, that is exactly what subsequently happened: my appointment in 2004 as President of the Republic of Seychelles. It was not something that I had striven for but I was willing to serve my country in any way I could, and when the opportunity arose, I was proud and ready to step forward.

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