SL Marathon 2013 – Update – Street Child Project 3

06/07/2013

So a brief post about the third and last project… after all, we still had a race to run, had landed only a couple of days before and the majority of us were due to then return home in a couple more days… talk about packing a lot in!

This visit was firstly to the main Project Centre in Makeni:

Sierra Leone 2013 070

then disbursing into smaller groups and actually going out into the local community and visiting people who had their own businesses, thanks to help from Street Child. What is important to note here, is that Street Child supports, assists and teaches everyday people how to create a sustainable business, instigate small savings plans at the same time as reintegrating the street children back into those families… until a certain point when the Charity can then step back and those helped have reached a stage of self-sufficiency. Street Child are helping people help themselves and once that is done, they gone on and help others… such influence rippling out as I mentioned before… which will positively affect generations to come!

Sierra Leone 2013 075

Here, we’d gone out to visit two businesses: the one above featuring a mad marathoner (more on her in later posts – bad influence, bad! *grin*) was with a local lady who collected firewood and sold it on, who was helping support her family, and her sister’s family if I remember correctly, and keep the girls in education and while as shy as a lot of the other kids, the two little ladies above chatted to us about what their lives were like and how proud they were of their family for helping each other. An ethos a lot of people could do with adopting!

We then headed back to the Project Centre where some surf shorts were handed out: one of the marathoners was from New Zealand and had brought a load over, and I’ve never seen anything like it. The street kids are allowed into the Centre but obviously the Centre is not there to feed the town’s children, nor would it be able to. But they do what they can, with what they have. So when you have kids with nothing, absolutely nothing… and boxes of shorts are being handed out… there’s gonna be a melee… it was actually a heartbreaking sight… to see children so desperate for a pair of shorts that was likely too big for them… and how proud they were of having something new and clean to wear… it’s not the same as watching it on a tv, reading about it in a paper… you’re totally disassociated from the experience that way… it’s not “real”… here, to see it, in front of your own eyes, mere steps away… heartbreaking!

And then lunch… Street Child did a fantastic job of catering for us… the food was included in the package price… no-one got sick… well Reece did have some salad on the last day and was very queasy on the plane home, but then again that could have been his Freetown hotel… anyway… lunch! We lined up, got our food, found somewhere to sit and ate. Surrounded by kids that hadn’t probably eaten what we would call “proper” meals for… well, God only knows! And they came and sat by us, behind us… and still I didn’t twig!

Naive or what!

One of the guys didn’t finish his lunch so passed his plate back to the kids… who promptly grabbed it off him (with thank you’s I hasten to add)… and of course when I finished and had food left on my plate, I didn’t pass it back quickly enough… with the consequence I was mobbed and food went everywhere… mainly over me! Sure there’s some photos out there somewhere of me brushing rather a lot of food off me… and what a waste, because it meant it ended up scattered. So when you remember being told as a kid to eat all your food because some kid in the world would die for what you’re throwing away… it’s true. I’ve been there, I’ve seen it… and it is not pleasant to witness.

Next post up… the running part of the trip!

Links:

Street Child

Sierra Leone Marathon 2013

© 2013 Michelle Payne

Advertisements

12 Life Lessons I Learned from my Cat

20/02/2013

300914_279929965442345_87891071_n

12 Life Lessons I Learned From My Cat

1. Pounce on opportunity. He who hesitates, misses catching the passing lizard.

2. Patience. Infinite patience.

3. Concentration. A cat studying an opportunity just beyond his grasp is the epitome of focused attention. He doesn’t even blink as he tunes out all distractions. His body is completely still except for his wildly twitching tail releasing his nervous energy.

4. Nothing is worth disturbing your beauty sleep.

5. Catnap. Even a few moments of shut-eye is refreshing.

6. If you’re happy, purr. Show your appreciation by letting people know that you like what they do.

7. Do cat stretches – and other yoga poses, and try Qigong. Especially as we age, gentle stretching is one of the best things we can do for our bodies.

8. Wrestle with your best friend. She likes it when you’re playful.

9. Eat when you’re hungry and not by the clock.

10. Ask for what you want. If you are lovable and patient, you will probably get it.

11. You can’t have everything you want. If you put your claws where they don’t belong, you’re going to get spanked.

12. Revel in life’s simple pleasures. A ball of string is magic. Catnip is heavenly.

~~ Origin: Unknown ~~


Affirmation of the Week

30/07/2012

“I LISTEN TO MY BODY”

Seriously, how often do you really listen to your body? Did you know it speaks in whispers? Well, mine does… and very quiet ones at that. It’s either that or my *ego* self is way too loud… yes I’ve been pushing myself at the gym but I am actually very body aware when it comes to sport and/or exercise… I spent years doing a specific type of sport so am very lucky in the regard that nowadays I know how far to push myself, when to hold back, and when to not exercise at all. However, in the past, some years ago, most of the time I used to ignore what my body was telling me, I listened to others and conformed to what was expected of me by them… I worked a full-time job, I commuted, I then trained several times per week, commuted, worked, trained again, a solid cycle that never ended… I didn’t eat properly, smoked, didn’t get enough sleep & when I did sleep, it was never through the night solid sleep either.

These days I try to listen more… and it’s voice is especially noticeable when I really start listening… I don’t eat chocolate (*waits for the gasps of horror*)… which considering this is a daily staple, is a huge sacrifice!  I will then often smaller portions because really, I’m thirsty rather than hungry… and may even have a 2 hour afternoon nap on a Saturday instead of slumping in front of the tv watching something that would take my mind elsewhere from where it really needed to be!  When I listen to my body and ignore the *I want I want* of the ego… which ultimately is the part of me that wants instant gratification and comfort… then I am actually looking after myself properly, feeding myself, hydrating myself and loving myself in ways that are beneficial to me.

Now this isn’t the same thing as revelling in our bodies… we can revel and relish our physical form as much as we want, and that’s a good thing…  so long as we are taking care of it… after all, it has to last us a long time, a lifetime in fact!

So I would ask, if you sit quietly and “clear the clutter” that the monkey mind continuously fills your head with, what answers do you get when asking what things do you do to your body or give to your body that, really, you don’t want, need or isn’t good for you?  Not in a *health police* kind of way (I still maintain a little of what you fancy does you good *grin*), but more in the way of (and these are just basic thoughts, feel free to add to them):

  1. do you drink enough water
  2. do you over-eat or not eat enough
  3. do you eat enough of the right kinds of food
  4. do you get enough sleep
  5. do you exercise and if so, exercise in a healthy way
  6. do you smoke
  7. are you happy in your body
  8. do you accept your body
  9. do you drink alcohol
  10. do you do drugs

On a personal note, I’m trying to drink more water, cut down on some of the types of food I used to indulge in a lot more (oh how I love white refined sugar)… and one thing I always always try to do (and fail miserably) is getting to bed earlier (Facebook = time stealer)!

Perhaps next time you pick something up to eat, drink or even take part in… ask your body… do I really need this, do I really want this, what benefit will this bring to my life… will it make me happy… and open your mind to the answer… it could be the start of a new adventure with yourself!

Wishing you a wonderful week ahead ♥

© 2012 Michelle Payne


Affirmation of the Week

02/07/2012

“I REVEL IN MY BODY”

Bodies… we live in them, we push them, we over-indulge them, we under-indulge them, we love them, hate them, like them, dislike them… we expect the most from them yet very often don’t even notice how much they do for us.

I do not know of one woman (or man for that matter) who totally accepts their body as it is. There is always something that they would change about it, from being slimmer, being lighter, being heavier, losing cellulite, toning up, having slimmer or longer legs, losing batwings, having dainty hands, clear smooth skin, the perfect pout, the perfect smile, perfect teeth, shiny hair… the list is endless!

Our bodies are marvellous… think about everything yours does, what you ask of it, expect of it… how you treat it… even down to little things like when you get out of the shower, do you smother yourself in lotion to help hydrate the skin? It doesn’t take long and the benefit is long-term.

It sounds like I’m focussing on the appearance aspect here, which I am to a degree, but the effects go much deeper…when we revel in our bodies, when we listen to what they want, it can cause a chain reaction of change… we start feeding ourselves properly (note that I include chocolate in this context *smile*), we either start exercising or exercise ourselves in a more beneficial manner, we begin to appreciate our bodies and ultimately ourselves and then treat ourselves with more respect, grace and gratitude. I could go on… but I won’t.

So this week, why not find one new thing to do this week that will show your body your appreciation of it… and if you feel like sharing, please post a comment and let us know what it is, you might be helping someone else to try something new too!

Wishing you a wonderful week ahead ♥

© 2012 Michelle Payne


%d bloggers like this: