Monday, 12 October 2009

My house smells like feet

Well folks, less than a week to go now. Aaggghhh!! This time next week I will have arrived in Jinja and hopefully will have met some of the beautiful children whose photographs I have seen on the school's website. I am also very much looking forward to meeting Moses and his family, whom I have exchanged many emails with now. They have been so friendly and welcoming already, I know that I will feel at home there.

The school has changed their website from .com to .org so if you have bookmarked the page, please could you amend your 'favourites' accordingly. The Kyabirwa Primary School website can now be visited at

This week is going to be crazy busy for me so forgive me if I sound harassed if you phone me. I still have so much to do and I must admit that the last few days have been a complete write off as I have been enjoying time with my family and friends. Obviously I want to find time to relax and see a few more of you before I head off so the beginning of my week is going to be completely dedicated to working through my packing list, collating all the documents I will need, and ensuring I am prepared for my new role as a third world volunteer. I'm taking my role seriously and am not using this experience to just "dip in and have a look". I really hope to learn as much as I can about the school and surrounding community, identify specific needs, and make some sort of impact in the long run. Well, that's my idealist view of it all from the comfort of my living room. I'm certainly going to give it my best shot anyway!

First thing on my "to do" list is pack up all the shoes ready for transporting. With over 60 pairs of secondhand shoes laying around, my house is beginning to take on a rather unpleasant 'charity shop' odour. Pooo-eeee!

Before I get too busy, I really wanted a chance to say thank you to the following people:

- My mom, for making this all possible and for being supportive of my dream despite being terrified for my safety. My mom means the world to me and I hope I can do her proud.

- My son, for his research into 'jiggers' and other such hazards I am likely to encounter. Part of me thinks he just wants to freak me out, but deep down I know he's doing it because he cares about his mummy ;-)

- Poodie, for your incredible friendship over the past 3 decades and for encouraging me to reach higher. Always.

- Lubee, for constantly reminding me that life is beautiful, inviting me for yummy meals and being the 'queen of cocktails'.

- Carly F, for organising "Team Neffy", emailing random strangers, collating donations (and being attacked by dogs), driving to Plymouth at weekends to make deliveries, and making a killer cheesecake. You rock.

- Jessie Girl, for sticking by me and my crazy ideas and never batting an eyelid. A true friend.

- Ann, Vanda, Ellie, Kate B, Vicky L, Nikki C, Jen T, Suzy, Charlie, Jude, Yvonne, Jenny L. You know what for ladies ... Thank You Sooooooo Much!!

And thank you also to everyone else who has sent me messages of support. It's heartwarming to know you're rooting for me, and I'm sure that knowledge will keep me comforted at night whilst I'm away. I've been moved to tears by some of your cards and you have proved to me that a) I am surrounded by good people, and b) all is not lost and we really can make the world a better place.

Unfortunately, I do have to say at this point ** Please Stop Sending Shoes Now ** Ugh, I really hate having to type that as I know how in need the school and community in Jinja are but, as you know, I am carrying all of this stuff myself and have to keep in mind weight restrictions. Remember though, I am going to be attending a second volunteer project in January so, if you do have things that you didn't get round to sending, just hang onto them for now please. They will still be put to a good cause.

And so finally, here are the donations put together. It's amazing to see how much you've collected in the space of a few weeks ...

(click the pic for larger view)

There are now: 60+ pairs of shoes, 300 pieces of chalk, 105 crayons, 150 pencils, 115 coloured pencils, 25 felt tip pens, 4 permanent markers, 150 sanitary towels, 37 items of boy's clothing, 29 items of girl's clothing, 2 sets of bedding, 2 Rounders sets, 2 skipping ropes & 1 frisbee

The school will also be receiving a cash donation of over £100.00 to put to use however they see fit. Again, this is thanks to my friends and even complete strangers who have felt compelled to make a contribution. You are amazing, lovely people and I have been touched by your generosity!! Signing off for now and I'm not sure I will have a chance for another detailed Blog post before I set off but I do hope you will all keep up-to-date with my trip whilst I'm out there. Individual emails might prove difficult to respond to, depending on the internet connection, but I will try.
So then ... I guess I'll see you all in December! Bye for now!

1 comment:

  1. the love you are giving to others will be felt by so many more than you expect. Be humble, be open and always be willing to learn from what you're experiencing. I'm so proud of you and can't wait to see how you change the world!