Two things happened yesterday. The sun came out and I read a book. The second of those points is not unusual. I often read a book but what I don’t do very often do is read a book in one sitting. The last few weeks have been more bonkers than I can begin to explain. Preparing for Africa, supporting the relay, working, trying to keep this blog going, looking after the house, being a mum, it has all been a bit crazy. And time for me to switch off has been zilch.
Last week I blogged about two inspiring women who are working hard to support their families and communities, in Africa. Now I am going to tell you about another inspiring woman who lives a bit closer to home. Her name is Maggie Hughes and she is one of the Tesco Mum of the Year winners for 2014.
I am thrilled to be a blogger ambassador for these awards this year and as such have been reading all about some incredible women. Maggie’s story though really struck a chord with me. Why? Because Maggie has managed to fight and get the law changed so we give more support to families who have seen a loved one become of victim of crime abroad.
We have had floods of biblical proportions here recently, haven’t we? In fact very few people have escaped at least some degree of disruption from them.
Our visit to Tanzania was timed to coincide with International Women’s Day this year. A real chance to show that there are women who are inspiring, despite living in some of the world’s poorest communities. It has been a real honour to meet them this week and has once again reignited my desire to keep on shouting really loudly about how incredible African women are.
It has also reinforced my belief that women the world over are all identical. Some may have more material things than others. Some may have a nicer house or a more extensive wardrobe. But at the heart of us all is a desire to provide for our families. To support them financially and emotionally and to do the best by our children.
This morning we met Joyce. Joyce is a poultry producer and currently has a clutch of 300 chicks. Thanks to the training and support she has received from The Gatsby Trust next week she will double that with another 400 and be able to use the new building she has built behind her house.
We met Bertha today at home just outside Dar es Salaam. We were welcomed into her living room and were introduced to her by our guides from The Gatsby Trust. They have been supporting Bertha for the past year and have provided her with training in order to grow her business. A business she had started before she went to them, but need help to make it grow and expand.
Day one is now behind us on this trip. Well a part day really as we didn’t land until 3pm. But the drive from the airport to the hotel gave us our first glimpse of this bustling African city. Vibrant and busy busy busy. And traffic like you would not believe! We were stationary for about fifteen minutes at one point and I asked our driver if there was a problem ahead, maybe and accident?
“No, this is Dar es Salaam!”
If you have seen my tweets today you might have got wind of the fact that I am visiting a Sports Relief funded project this week. As are Penny and Annie. What we have neglected to mention thus far is where that project is. Though the title of this post has now given the game away. Yes, we are off to Tanzania to visit the Gatsby Trust!