Saturday, February 15, 2014

Back to "normal"

I returned to work this week and was overwhelmed with everyone stopping by and calling to: say hello, tell me they missed me, and ask how my trip was....a heartfelt THANK YOU to everyone who has welcomed me home!!

I've been so fortunate to have travelled to Africa three times with the Canadian Cooperative Association and each trip has been very memorable for me...but there was something about this really made me sit back and take stock of things....and to realize just how lucky I truly am....and what is REALLY important in life!

What I have learned is that "stuff" doesn't make you happy....that you need to focus on the good and truly be grateful for all that you take charge of your life and find the things that make you passionate and happy and DO them!!! To tell the people that mean so much to you - you LOVE them - and how thankful you are to have them in your life and foR always Being there for you!!! <3 That life is truly precious and not to take it for granted....

I'm honestly having a hard time being back....

I am still amazed every day when I have hot water, and lots of it, by simply turning a tap.....

And for a fridge full of food......

I am trying to remember not to "preach" at others when they are complaining about first world problems.....

But...I'm thankful... REALLY thankful these trips have changed me...deep inside....and made me realize how truly lucky I really am. 

I have to say thank you to:

CCA - for creating such a meaningful program that is truly making a difference in the lives of others

Interior Savings Credit Union - for being such an excellent employer and supporter of programs like this

My co-workers - especially Elenore & Lois who covered for me while I was away

And last but not least my friends and family.....who sent me words of encouragement while I was away.....even at my age (29 LOL!) it stills means something to hear your family tell you they are proud of you :)

Heidi in Kelowna...feeling so grateful :)

Monday, February 3, 2014

"It is what it is"

We had our debrief training in London with the other CCA teams that were in Uganda and Malawi. It was great to see everyone again and hear they all faired well and there were no injuries to report.
Team Ghana 2014
All of the coaches with CCA are incredible but there was something special about our Team Ghana this year.  We really bonded as a team, all of us, and we were really there for each other through thick and thin and it made the experience that much more enjoyable. So much so we have already agreed upon a reunion trip together next year.  Our priorities are pretty simple - hot water, flushing toilets and chicken and rice every day! Hahahaha

We had a mantra this trip, thanks to my wonderful partner Joan who coined, "It is, what it is".

When things weren't as we expected or we struggled with something Joan would say "It is, what it is" and we would laugh and carry on. I can honestly say I do not recall either Joan or I muttering one single complaint this whole trip....and don't get me wrong there was lots that a person could complain about should they choose to, but I'm so glad we took the high road and just lived in the moment and appreciated every experience that came our way.

There is a life lesson in there for all of us, to take the unexpected and hardships that come our way and see the positive in it, no matter what it is. I am going to make a real effort to continue on with this philosophy back home. To REALLY appreciate all the little things that people do for me and be grateful for all the experiences that will come into my life. After all isn't it the unexpected events that make the best stories?!  And I've been known to tell a good story or two!

BUT! One of things they taught us in London at our debrief is that NO ONE is as interested in our trip and experiences as we are?!! What???  Really??  Surely this doesn't apply to MOI?!  hahaha......note to self.....make sure people ASK first about my trip and don't just start telling a bunch of stories about Ghana without being asked...LOL  ;)

I'll "try" and remember.

Heidi in London.....feeling a sense of accomplishment :)