Krabi, Thailand in June/July

Less tourists but an authentic real Thai experience…

Giving Project 1

One of my goals was to give to the kids who needs help in getting an education, as I believe education is key to a poverty free world….  here are some pictures from our first project at a very rural school in Sri Lanka.  Arawatta school in Mahiyangana, Sri Lanka.

We were able to give all 155 children in this school books, pens, pencils, ant other stationary and class room essentials as well as some food items.  The wonderful principal and teacher team here does an amazing job!!!

The kids and the teachers were very thank full, and we will continue to support this school in the future.

Let your heart guide you to happiness

I decide to live my dream, and let the kids have an education like no other!

Only 3 weeks and 4 days away to go to start my year away with kids.   I feel organised but there is always that little voice telling you there is something I have missed even with my  multiple lists.  I have many lists for packing  and things we need to do before we leave.  I carry this little note book around to jot down things that just pops up as they do while doing something totally random like shopping.  I also have a few spreadsheets with lists and things to do and places we need to go (I will put these up on another post).

The logistics of taking a whole lot of things for the kids to live in another country for over 6 months is a bit complex.  Given that I am traveling with two kids without my husband, I can’t carry much luggage, so most things have to be shipped.  Having shipping companies that lets you ship boxes full of stuff is really helpful.  I have organised 3 tea chest size (45cmX45cmX60cm) boxes (cost $90) to be shipped with things like books, toys, nappies, food items the kids are familiar with until they get used to eating local food, and cloths and other items to giveaway to people there etc.   I was hoping to take a lot more like my jewelry making things but looks like there will be no space left for that in the three boxes I had to bring home to pack up.    I will have to get some more boxes to send more things to be given away to needy schools over there.

I am looking forward to showing my kids the world and hoping they will appreciate it and be part of my charity work in Sri Lanka.  The charity part of this trip is something that I have been wanting to do for a long time, and I am glad I finally am doing something about it.  you can read more about it on my blog. I just have to follow my heart,  if I think more and more about this it will never eventuate, so hear I am feeling happy to follow one of my dream.

Still  need to make more money to support this en-devour of mine so I am auctioning all my left over jewelry

” target=”_blank”>Kookki Designs Facebook Page

to raise more funds.  All products will be listed with a starting price of $2 (Australian).  Hope I can raise more funds within the next 3 weeks.   I realise that I do not have much time left, so whatever I can do now will help expedite my projects and have them established before I leave for Europe.    Wish me luck! 🙂

Some Items up for auction at Kookki Designs Facebook age
  Some Items up for auction at Kookki Designs Facebook age

Breath taking New Zealand

I lost all my photos in an external hard drive accident.   When I mean all , I lost all my babies photos, videos, travel photos…… pretty much a collection of memories (in photos & videos) over a period of 10 years, just gone.  Lesson learnt the hard way.   Never just store important photos or documents  in just one place,  have them backed up onto  more than one storage devices or clouds.

While cleaning the house getting ready to head on our next adventure I came across some USB sticks that gave me a wonderful surprise.   I found a few of my lost photos from some of our travels.  The photos I had put on as a slide show on my screen saver 5 years ago!   These are the only photos recovered  from a trip to New Zealand while my daughter was 6 months old, I am so excited to see them.  This is another way of saving them, just in case 😉

 

 

Inspirational Woman: Bessie Bardot – living life in the flow

Bessie and her family is so inspirational for someone like me who is dying to make a drastic change in life in order to really live. I am dreaming of the day my husband joins me on my mission to live free, differently, giving back to the world. Till then I will do what I can with my two kids. My next destination being Sri Lanka, I have a few ideas to giveback.

Bessie Bardot is a well known Australian business woman, media personality, author and mum who, with her former Gladiator/best-selling author husband, Geoff Barker, decided to give up their high flying, high profile life in Sydney, give away their worldly goods and (with their young daughter BlueBelle) head for the open road and a simpler life.

Following their time travelling around Australia, they continued their journey further afield. They are currently in Los Angeles, but shortly head for Alaska for another part of their adventure. Their new life is all about Living in the Flow, and here Bessie explains what that is all about.

What made you decide to give up your high flying life and go on the road?

It was actually my husband’s idea. He wanted to make a big change for years and had suggested a few drastic idea’s which I always turned down.

Then 2 months…

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Help A Charity Project In Sri Lanka: Educate The Children & Break The Poverty Cycle

My next long term travel destination is Sri Lanka,  my birth country!  I have booked tickets to head over in November.   I cant wait to take my kids there and  show  them a different part of world.  The plan is to live there with my kids for 6 months.  It will be me and my two kids, my husband can’t take time off this time round to go with us, but I have all my extended family there which gives me strength.

I cant help but feel the strong need to do something good when I am Si Lanka…. I have already begun collecting money for my charity project with a 30% off sale on my handmade online jewelry Etsy shop  Kookki Designs.  Please pop over to my Facebook page to share this sale with your online friends and family, I can guarantee that the money collected from now till November will be put into a good cause!

In Sri Lanka poverty is at 6.4%.  When you consider the population of 20 million, this number is quite significant.  According to and article on Sunday Times it is possible to have a poverty free Sri Lanka with a bit of help.  I know there are large charity organizations doing a lot of work, but a lot more giving and help is needed to overcome such a massive issue.  Most people who live in poverty are in villages and rural areas.  So I would like to visit these places, talk to the people, see the schools and get to the source of the problem which is education!

I have always wanted to be able to make a difference in the world in some small way I can.  One time, before kids, I went over to Sri Lanka on a short holiday with an idea to  set up a charity, I went to a village school where I encountered the saddest faces I have seen in my life.  It was heart wrenching to even see young kids feeling the weight of life, most kids didn’t even have anything to eat, and their faces told me stories that I knew if asked I would have been reduced down to tears.  So that time I walked away with setting up three bank accounts for three kids where they will get a $8 (Australian) per month each, yes that was all they needed to get what they needed to make it through school.  Can you believe it, You can change someone’s life with the cost of 2 coffees per month!!!!

The letters I get from my sponsored kids and seeing how well they are doing in school makes me really happy as if I am fulfilling a purpose in my life:)

I am writing this post with the intention of growing what I did by my self in a very small scale.  I want to be able to help many more kids that are in dire need and collectively make this world place that is better for everyone.  I feel quite passionate about setting up a charity so more people can help kids who are born into poverty.  And I know there are a lot of people that would like to help in someway!

This $8 a month per child sponsoring program should be affordable for many of us living a comfortable life in the developed countries.   How I set my little program was by setting up a committee in a school with a lot of children in need.  This committee consists of school principal and teachers who will act as the children’s guardians.  A bank account is then opened under each child that will be sponsored, but to access money for the  childrens’ needs the committee will have to act as their guardians till they turn 18.  The reason for a committee and not the parents acting as guardians is to protect the kids and their bank accounts as in most cases the very reason these kids are in poverty are the lack of education and planing skills of their parents who are addicted to alcohol and a poor way of life.   The aim of this sponsorship program is to break that poverty cycle by educating these kids.

This sponsorship program may come to fruition by setting up a website with profiles of the children needing help with a Paypal payment facility where the money can be transferred to the students bank account.  Or working with another established Charity organisation ( please let me know if you know of one that I can work with).  I have not yet figured out the nitty gritty, It will be a bit of work but I would love to see this project up and running next year.  Again any helpful ideas on this matter will be much appreciated!   I will keep you posted on my progress on this matter on this blog, Instagram and facebookpage.

This time when I go, I will have over 6 months to really work on a project or a few projects to make a difference while enjoying this beautiful part of the world.

These are some of my ideas, I need to research a lot more and with some more help and my Etsy shop money I hope to find ways to make these ideas a reality…

  1. A $8 a month sponsorship program for kids in extreme poverty, where the sponsors money goes straight to the child’s bank account and the sponsor gets correspondence from the child.
  2. Send money to buy and distribute basic school items like pens, pencils, books, rubbers, colour pencils directly to village schools
  3. Send our used clothes (summer clothes), shoes and bags to Sri Lanka and distribute them to poor village schools, orphanages and charity foundations in Sri Lanka
  4. Run a lunch program in very poor village schools to provide at least one meal for kids that go with nothing to eat (In Sri Lanka a simple lunch item will cost under a $1 per person).
  5. Set up a work space for women struggling to find work to support themselves and their families and let them manage and run it as a small business.

I would welcome any comments, suggestions or ideas on this topic.  Please feel free to let me know how and what ways you may be able to join or give me helpful ideas to make a difference in Sri Lanka!

Melbourne National Gallery of Victoria for Kids?

You can find more information on the Tromarama exhibition at the NGV website 

 

Hamilton Island Wild Life Encounters

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Kids and Stage Shows In Melbourne

We are big fans of taking our kids out and about. Letting them see the world.  One of the fun things we do as a family is to go to shows or events that comes into town.  It keeps our life exciting!

Melbourne in Australia is a great city rich with art culture, it is named world’s most livable city for the fourth time in a row and it really is.  It is wonderful to live here with kids as there are many events taking place at any time of the year.  My kids, 3 (boy) and 5 (girl) seem to enjoy these events very much.  There are a lot of stage shows that come into town since there are a few theaters that can accompany a whole range of shows at the same time.  We take our kids to see stage shows whenever we can.

So far our kids have been to

  1.  Angelina ballerina by Melbourne Ballet
  2. Thomas the tank engine
  3. Charlie and Lola
  4. Graffallo’s child
  5. Totem by Cirque du Soliel (one of my highlights of the year)
  6. Disney on ice
  7. Sri Lankan cultural dance shows
  8. Today Disney Lion King the musical

My daughter 5 years old is very excited to go see these shows. The Lion King was purely her choice, and it is meant to be part of her Birthday gift this year. Even if she goes to the 8 pm shows she manages to stay mesmerized till the show ends. It is a rewarding feeling to see how she appreciates these shows.

Funny enough, my little boy(3) gets into it too. But the late shows like today’s Lion King, he struggles to stay awake after intermission.  Nevertheless he is at least exposed to it at a young age.

They both are well behaved at these shows and has a good understanding of the importance of letting the rest of the audience watch it even if they are not interested or feeling tired (I am referring to my 3 year old here).

So I think the more we expose our kids to things the more they learn, a simple thing like appreciation of the arts, respecting others at public events, being polite and patient etc are what I think my kids have learnt from these stage shows.  Plus it’s fun to see them re in act afterwards at home.

If you are in Melbourne, Australia Disney Lion King the musical is still running till November 2015. It really is a great show for the whole family. You can book your tickets at Ticketmaster.com.au

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Ready for Lion King Musical

Here they are waiting for Lion King to begin 🙂

It’s a shame we are not allowed to take photos of these shows, as a memory for the kids when they grow older, so we end up getting some before show shots only. Hope they can remember some of them at least, if not I am happy with the thought that they have formed an appreciation towards these different form of art and be well rounded adults one day!