When Jonnie went off to Kenya for a month with the school a couple of years ago I was very envious. Not the climbing Mt Kenya bit. Nor the sleeping in tents bit. Or in fact the eating fish casserole bit. Especially not the “no phones, no internet” for a month bit. The bit that really made me envious was going off with friends to see where money was being spent by the charity they were going with, Gap Africa. Money they had worked hard to help raise. They were going to witness first hand the difference donations from the UK were making to the lives of people half a world a way. They were also going to be helping out too, re-roofing a hut and building desks in a school. They crammed various tools and bits of kit in amongst their medical supplies and thermal underwear.
I also shoved a load of reminders in his rucksack to make him know I was thinking about him as he did this trip of a lifetime, something I talked about here: When are our children no longer our babies
Not only was I nervous for him, I was envious that he was doing it at all. My heart skipped a beat when I got this message telling me he was on top of the world:
My head screamed “IT’S SITTING NOT SAT” but my heart sang. My gorgeous boy was going without all the things he loved for a month to do some good for those less fortunate. I couldn’t be more proud.
Which is why when Comic Relief asked if Annie, Penny and I would like to join them in Kenya this year we enthusiastically said “yes please”. Because seeing where money raised by Red Nose Day goes, the lives it is changing, is a vital part of what Comic Relief does, alongside the fundraising. And being a part of that is what spurs us on to do all the organising of Team Honk that takes over our lives from January. Seeing where the money is being spent is inspiring, its life changing.
We are off on Friday night, and land back in the UK on Tuesday morning and will spend the weekend recording as much as we can with video, photos, blog posts, tweets to share with you from there, and when we get back.
The schedule for our trip is brutal. But then that’s to be expected, it’s not a holiday. Three days, two overnight flights, four hour stop overs, four project visits, 6.30am starts and 6pm ends to the day on the road and evenings spent blogging and sharing all we have seen, is full on. And that’s just the physical, the emotional side of the trip is going to tough too. But at the same time a whole new level of awesome.
Seeing women running their own businesses in the slums of Ghana and Tanzania is one of THE most inspiring things I have ever witnessed. Talking to young men chatting enthusiastically about their computer businesses whilst wearing Manchester United football shirts are conversations I will never forget.
As for Kenya, I can’t tell you about the projects until we have been to them but they are all making huge changes to the lives of the people they support. That you support. That your donations are helping those projects achieve. And we can’t wait to get stuck in and share all of that with you.
If you would like to be involved in sharing a “social postcard” we would love to have you on-board. You can sign up here for an email that will land in your inbox next Sunday night:
I want to be a social postcard supporter please
It will have info on sharing photos that we will have taken over the weekend and some information about the projects they were taken at. We would love it if you could then share those in anyway you like on Monday. Maybe a tweet with the pic; an instagram post; a share on Facebook; a blog post, or even an email to all your friends. Any sharing would be fantastic. There will be # too so you can then see all the other posts made by people doing the same thing.
We would love you to join us in the fund raising too if you haven’t already. You can come to Wembley on one of the Team Honk places even if you aren’t a blogger. If you are friend of Team Honk then we would love to have you on board. All the information you need is in this post:
How to join the #RNDdanceathon
but if you can’t get to Wembley maybe you could organise a shimmy on your sofa event at home and fund raise without the travel. You can still join Team Honk with a giving page to keep track of your fund raising (the pages go live later today and I will update this post when they are live).
I am hugely excited about going to Kenya, but also a little bit terrified! And I have lots of questions in my head to ask the people we will be meeting at the projects. But do you have any questions you would like us to ask? If there is something you would like to know then do let me know and I will do my best to ask the question for you and report back.
Annie, Penny and I will be over on the Britmums blog later and having a Google Hangout at 1pm chatting about the trip so do come and join us
This also all goes to explain why things have been somewhat awry on the blog recently. There has been much work and plotting behind the scenes. And vaccinations, which have made me sick. But then I remember how lucky I am to be able to get a prescription for anti malaria tablets and to be able to not blink when the pharmacist says “£35 please”. It is a stark reminder of many hundreds of thousands of families who can’t do that and who live with the tragedy of losing loved ones to malaria. And our determination that Team Honk can do their bit to save lives. That you can do your bit to save those lives.
Now, I must really go and pack! And whilst I do that you can have hop over to Annie and Penny’s posts today and see their thoughts on heading to Kenya
Reporting from Kenya this weekend by Annie
Kenya with Comic Relief by Penny
Photo of Kenyan school girls courtesy of Shutterstock
Eee! It’s going to be so interesting / knackering / amazing / emotional and I know we’ll al look after each other my banana split buddy x
Only you could break the schedule into stats Mummy Barrow, gulp! Let’s do this.
Oooh exciting times! I am signing up for the postcard, oh yes I am!
Thanks so much Donna! Look forward to seeing your postcard on the web this time next week!
You are all doing such a fabulous job for Comic Relief. I’m only sorry I can’t do as much this year as I have previously. Will sign up for a postcard though! Have an incredible trip and take care x
You dont ever need to apologise Helen. Signing up for a post card is brilliant, thank you so much.
WIshing you an incredible and inspirational trip – all signed up for my postcard!
It sounds like it’s going to be another incredible experience for you all. Look forward to hearing a lot more about it while you’re away and when you return and have signed up for my postcard!
Sorry I can’t join you all for Danceathon, which I’m gutted about, but my MIL is very inconsiderately turning 70 that weekend and we have to do family stuff.
Good luck to you all for Kenya and the Danceathon.
You could always tell her you have hired Wembley for her and are throwing a party for her with 2000 friends.
Oh. Okay then. 🙂 Thank you for signing up for your postcard already.
Oh wow – it’s certainly going to be an experience of a lifetime! Will be following avidly for updates and news
Good luck with the trip hope it all goes really well
Good luck ..Mrs Honk
Keep up the good work
Excited to follow yoru journey again T and you are gonna need those pro-plus, good move! Mich x
Good luck ladies! BritMums is behind you!
Wishing you all a very safe trip and look forward to reading all about it. Great work ladies x
Good luck ladies, I have signed up for a postcard
You are all AMAZING, I hope the trip is a wonderful experience for you all, and not too emotionally draining. xxx
Signed up for a postcard and sending you all luck and love. It will be an amazing experience