Tuesday 16 October 2012

Down to earth with a bump! #ONEMums

Cards the kids made for me, you can't really read them as they are in pencil
but I loved Miss M's, it said Praying for Mummy
I've been home 48 hours now, that's not long is it?  No wonder I still feel pretty weird. 

I'm not quite sure how to describe how I feel right now but I'm a bit like an alien in my own home town. I think my biggest issue is that I am completely tried but I am also very overwhelmed, I'm trying to process all the things I saw, heard and learnt during my seven days in Ethiopia and it is taking the wind out of me. I feel kind of fragile, like I might break if you shout at me. So please don't.

We landed into Heathrow early Sunday morning and was greeted by freezing fog - the first big shocker, where has my sun and beautiful blue skies gone? I was mighty pleased to enjoy a cup of real English tea and a toasted sandwich for breakfast whilst I waited for my family to arrive and then when they did we did the movie scene stuff and ran towards each other for a big hug. It felt really good to have my babes back in my arms. I took my girls to the toilet and they were busy chattering away to me about their week and how pleased they were to see me. We came out of the cubicle to find a lady beaming at us with the biggest, most friendly smile and she commented about how lovely my girls were, so happy. It's true, this trip has certainly made me appreciate how lucky I am to have three wonderful children and a great husband, but most importantly that we have all the basics and do not have to worry about where the next meal is coming from. I am so looking forward to the weekend and having some time to just enjoy being with them.

People  keep asking me how Ethiopia was and throwing questions at me and I an a bit shell-shocked, I do not feel ready to answer all their questions yet. When you visit in excess of 15 different projects, areas and groups of people in a matter of seven days you are bound to fell pretty burnt out and overwhelmed aren't you?

I know that I need to be kind to myself and not push too much and just allow the processing to take place and slowly the information will fall into place and then dh and I can make some decisions about how we want our lives to change and we both know that we do.  Last year dh went to India on mission and that touched and changed him and now my Ethiopia journey has done the same for me, but we need to see how those changes translate to real everyday life.

The delightful picture my kids chose to send me whilst I was in Ethiopia!

I can't seem to keep away from twitter and my new friends blogs, reading about our time in Ethiopia helps me to remember it was real and not to let go fully yet. I miss that group of women so much, we had the most amazing time together and I don't think anything will ever break that bond.  I have a lump in my throat just typing this.

There are so many ideas going round my head; posts I want to write and publish, promotion for ONE that I want to do and ideas for the future.  When I hear yet again that people don't know who ONE are or what they are supposed to do I get a little disheartened, it feels like a massive job to help educate the UK about who ONE are. I have written so many posts about it now that I could start to question myself about my ability to transfer information. But I won't as it's not productive. With ONE not being a traditional charity and not asking for money I realise it is a bit harder to be able to fully grasp who they are and want they want. I turn my worries over to God as it is no use me pondering them over and over.

I can't deny that I have been effected by all the talk of our trip, both positive and negative.  I am so thankful to all those who chose to help share our journey and I feel happy that I fulfilled the brief I was given of sharing the living proof that UK and US aid is working successfully in Ethiopia.  As I mentioned elsewhere I never went to Ethiopia to become a blogging superstar, I don't care if not one person recalls my name. I just wanted to do something for an campaigning and advocacy organisation that I have become super passionate about in the last 8 months. At the beginning of this year I had no idea who ONE were but now I am happy to give my time to spread the word and I ask for nothing in return.

But this is not the end, not by a long way.  I'll have many more Ethiopia posts to share and I'll keep doing my bit for ONE as each new campaign raises its head. I'd love it if you feel you would like to as well.

If you want to know more about ONE you can check out their website, any of my posts on here tagged with one.org or ask me a question direct, I'll happily help. Then if you want to sign up and add your voice and be available to sign a few virtual petitions in the future, do the odd blog post, tweet or share or if you are willing to write to your MP to back up a campaign then you will be doing far more than most people in the developed world and that makes you a rock star in my humble opinion.

Thanks again, Mich x


I've just returned from Ethiopia, where I was travelling with a group of 11 other inspirational Mums and Moms as part of an expense paid trip courtesy of the ONE Campaign. Our trip is about success – Living Proof -- of what is working and why it is important that we continue to support projects that are making a huge, measurable difference for less than one percent of the entire US budget. It is about letting more people know what a tremendous difference the US and UK are making in the lives of millions around the world. 

It is also about adding thousands more voices to those already letting their elected officials know they support these life-saving programs. You can sign up to ONE using the widget on my blog right sidebar.