Posted in Family life, Volunteering Overseas, Women's issues

Umoja Orphanage Kenya Project

It may be serendipity that I found out about the Umoja Orphanage Kenya Project.  On the year of my 50th Birthday (yes, this year) I had promised myself I would finally fulfill a lifelong dream to volunteer in Africa. I’ve researched all sorts of options such as Projects AbroadI-toI Travel, Global Travel, International Volunteer HQ, Australian Volunteers and Projects Abroad. Most cost (Fees and then airfares, insurance, visas etc. on top of that). Some are cheaper than others. Some are marketed well. I couldn’t make up my mind.

Small child hand and white hand

I searched the Lonely Planet website and came across the book Volunteer – A Traveller’s Guide to making a difference around the World. That’s just what I wanted to do. I read from cover to cover with all sorts of ideas swirling through my head. Still no solution but I then discovered Foot2Afrika. Foot2Afrika is in Tanzania and in the wake of the Shopping Centre bombings in Nairobi, Kenya I turned my search to the possibly safer Tanzania. The people at Foot2Afrika sounded lovely. Most of the fees go to the project and I was placed in contact with an Australian who had travelled to the project. I all but placed a deposit.

Then one weekend while chatting to my friend Carol she mentioned an old school friend had started an orphanage in Kenya. I thought that at least it wouldn’t hurt to contact this orphanage. Cathy Booth founded Umoja Orphanage Kenya in 2011 which became a Project of Rotary Australia Worldwide Community Service. Cathy was compelled to build the orphanage to give Kenyan children a second chance at life after witnessing the dismal poverty and children without hope. The name Umoja is Swahil for unity and togetherness which is an apt philosophy for this beautiful project that combines Australia and Kenya as one.

Please go to the Umoja website and see for yourself the terrific work they do.

This project is a little more expensive than others that I have investigated so I need to fundraise madly. The reason I like it so much (besides the fact that I have a link to Cathy through my friend Carol, feeling like it’s meant to be). It’s a quicker trip (I have a full time job and my writing projects), Australian based, supported by Rotary, in-built safari costs, fully guided by Cathy herself and for a ground roots worthwhile cause.

I’ll tell you more about it soon. If you’d like to help me fulfill my dream and join the project (their next trip is June) please contact me for more information. I have a few fun plans in mind and once they are nutted out they’ll be placed on this blog.

Let’s help change the lives of people who have a beautiful country but unlike Australians don’t have the opportunities we take for granted; shelter, food, clean water, education, training, employment and a secure and loving environment.

Posted in Family life, Other stuff, Women's issues

Phew what a week!

I do like to keep busy but I think there is a fine line between busy and frantic. I aspire to be busy enough to stay focussed. Frantic only makes you stress and possibly make mistakes. So I pondered if I’d bitten off more than I can chew this week.

I’ve taken on a job as a graphic artist (just a fill-in position) for four weeks. The fact that I’ve been out of that particular industry (printing) for many years hasn’t seemed to phase me as it’s just like getting back on a bike. (Different programs but easily figured out). The thing is, because I took this on it put my book project ‘Dad Love‘ either on the burner or finish it quicker. As you would know from my last post, I finished it instead. Hopefully, I haven’t rushed the final edit too much but so far I’m pleased with the feedback.

You’re saying, “That’s not busy.” No maybe not but can I add the rest?

  • Kept working as a marketing publicist for Zeus Publications.
  • Plugged away at my own writing business (Donna’s Writing Services) by sending a flash fiction to a magazine.
  • Sent another flash fiction to a competition.
  • Wrote a letter to the editor to U on Sunday (The Sunday Mail) about an amazing young man  David Pocock and his organisation EightyTwenty Vision. See the link and donate to this very worthy cause.
  • Sent a query on an article idea.
  • Added new links to this blog and upgraded some pages (adding my book page for ‘Dad Love‘)
  • Entered some competitions.
  • Did some surveys.
  • Worked a night shift twice a week.
  • Fed my dog, Boss (at least every day). She barks on the dot at 4pm every day to let us know it’s feed time.
  • Walked Boss (when there was no torrential rain).
  • Put on numerous loads of washing and all the other mundane housework. Sometimes beds were made other times I had to let them be.
  • Shopped for the family groceries (my fridge is never full with two teenage boys).
  • Tried to kiss and hug my boys and hubby as often as possible.

Surely, I don’t have to itemize everything but just imagine all the other stuff all working mums complete as well as their career work. I’m sure there’s plenty out there who are frantic rather than just busy.

My brain isn’t frazzled yet but I do have a million things going on in it which makes it difficult to tune out at night and just go to sleep.

  • There are plans for the new novel.
  • Ideas for more articles.
  • Thoughts on how to do my new job.
  • How to fit in my old job?
  • How to juggle the family and make sure my boys don’t start eating the furniture?
  • Whether my husband is going to feel ignored (probably).
  • Whether my dog will fret because I’m not home with her as often.
  • How to find the time to still write?
  • How to find the time to update this blog?
  • Sitting my eldest son down and sorting out his tax so I can finish Tax Pack and send it away.
  • Will I ever get time to relax and read a book again?
  • What stretch of time can I allocate exercise to so my resolve doesn’t disappear altogether (and my waistline reappear)?
  • When will this rain stop so I actually feel like going for a walk or jog?

See, what a busy girl I am. I’m not complaining and I rarely talk about how busy I am (it’s sort of annoying isn’t it?). I just wanted to note it all down and see if it looked like a reasonable request of myself. It is. So on with it girl. Now you’ve blogged so get onto the other stuff.

Boss strapped into the back of the car so we can drive to Tally for a walk to the beach.

Why not let me know what kept you busy this week. I’d love to read your comments. Did you finish a manuscript? Did you volunteer somewhere? Did you go on holidays and have a relaxing time? What did you do?

Oh, and did I tell you that you can buy Dad Love for just $2 now for Father’s Day?