I’m a lucky girl; I have found the best partner in life and in 10 days it’s our two year wedding anniversary so I thought I would do a romantic post this time, or at least try.
Mick is great. He accepts me as I am, he encourages me to follow my dreams and be a better person. He would say yes to almost anything I propose to do. He’s always been with me throughout almost all my crazy attempts at volunteering not always getting the best of results.
There was the time when I was joining the “Walk for Tibet” in Brisbane. He joyfully agree to drive me there and join the walk but was shocked when a little Tibetan lady passed him or may I say, forced him to carry a big sign saying “Free Tibet” that he had to carry during the whole walk.
Then there was the time when Brisbane had the big floods in 2012. I jumped at the opportunity of going and helping with the clean up and Mick agreed to come with me. We picked up Maria, my sister in law that lives in Brisbane and she said she knew a neighbourhood nearby that we could go and help. So there we were the three of us going around the houses seeing if anyone needed our help. I mean, I was ready to get all muddy, I wanted to be part of the mud army but nothing, Maria and I walked around for half an hour without any luck, and Mick (being a plumber by trade and arriving in his Plumbing truck) got picked up straight away and spent the rest of the Sunday unblocking drains, while Maria and I headed back to her place to enjoy a cuppa. Mick wasn’t pleased when he arrived back and almost put him off all my future volunteering suggestions.
But the funniest one till date was when I told him about doing a walk for the koalas. I told him I had read it was going to be massive and we needed to join. You know, koalas are now an endangered species and there was this great group of people raising funds for the cause and they were going to walk from Coolangatta all the way to Southport (that’s a bit more than 20 kms). So there we were really early again on a Sunday ready to join in on the walk, it was Mick and I and maybe 4 others.
We started walking and we had the founder of this group walking along us, he was probably in his 80s and told us on the way he had been having problems with his hips. (He had been walking along the Australian coast racing funds for koalas!) We reached a part of the beach where it had a steep step back into the footpath. This strong determined man was trying to lift his leg to step onto the footpath, well guess what, he couldn’t!! He kept falling backwards and he kept trying over and over again. We had already offered some help but he refused the help, so he kept falling on his back..it was just painful to watch. He finally accepted some help from Mick and we sat him down to rest for a bit but in less than 5 minutes, he stood up again and wanted to keep going! When we got to Broadbeach, Mick and I decided that it was enough for us, and guess what the guy said to Mick when we told him we were leaving: What a bloody poofter!
When I agreed to do this trip, part of me decided to do it because I strongly believe that we have been put on this Earth to be of service to the rest of the world; we are here to help and when we are tied to a 9-5 kind of job it’s hard to have the extra time to volunteer or be of service.
Now that we are travelling and we finally have time there are plenty of opportunities to lend a hand. When we arrived in Antigua, I decided to contact this amazing charity called “Hands across the Sea” that its mission is to improve the levels of literacy in the Eastern Caribbean by building libraries in schools and with the donation of new books.
We had arrived at the right time because there was a school that needed their room all painted and ready for the library. We got in contact with Lisa the link here in Antigua and she offered to pick us up from Falmouth Harbour. Yet another opportunity for Mick to join in, but because of our previous experiences I didn’t want to push him. I was surprised when he said yes but I could sense his fear of what could happen.
We spent Wednesday and Thursday helping paint the room and thankfully we had a great experience. Lisa was there to help and we had Mister Phillip, the school’s groundkeeper lending us a hand as well. I saw Mick’s smile and how he enjoyed meeting all the students that would come to say hi to us during the day. We even got to do a small mural with the help of some of the students and we had the opportunity of meeting their wonderful principal and some of the teachers. So I can say now that I’m back on track with my volunteering experiences, Mick has finally tasted how good it feels to help and that we can have fun doing it.
So there you go, this was my attempt at being romantic and sharing a few of our more personal stories. We have no big plans for our anniversary. We are a bit broke this month so it may just be a nice chocolate croissant at the local boulangerie here in Guadeloupe but it really doesn’t matter; we don’t need the big dinner or a present. We may be a bit short on money this month but we are rich in time and we are going to make sure that we make the most of it.