Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Being Grateful For Everyday and for Every Contribution Received...........

Over the past couple of months we have been most grateful to the support and contributions received to the Kids in Cambodia Kickstart Project. We have already raised over $1,000 worth of funds and we are most grateful to all the generous contributions made. You have made a difference to the lives of many in Siem Reap.

We  have already been able to use some of the funds for the purchase of new desks for Sohing's small school which is about 15km out of town. Previously the students gathered around one table to do their school work and learning now they enjoy gathering around the desks more comfortably, making for a more enjoyable learning experience.
Sohing and the children wanted us to thank all of you who supported the fundraiser 
smile emoticon Thanks so much...this will make a huge difference to them

Also a couple of weeks ago, a devastating storm hit the town of Siem Reap and impacted the town greatly. Barb and Chris have visited homes that have been completely destroyed by the storm and the families will need a lot of support to rebuild their lives. Therefore, we will be using some of the funds from the KICK fundraiser to help families rebuild their homes and their lives. We are grateful to your contributions and the people of Siem Reap thank you for the chance to be able to start over.

With only a few days to go until the race in Bhutan commences, I am overwhelmed with excitement and with the generous support from you all. Thank you for your generous donations, your words of wisdom and your on going support, I am blessed to have you all in my life.
I am currently on my way to Bhutan with a few airport transfers to go yet but looking forward to reuniting with running friends for around the world, forging new friendships and immersing myself in the culture and people of Bhutan. Chris and Barb and my friend Kelly will keep you posted with updates in regards to the race over the next week.
A big thank you to Barb and Chris who are currently ensuring that the funds are being dispersed where they need to be. They work tirelessly and enthusiastically for the people of Siem Reap. We appreciate all that you do Barb and Chris!!!

Thanking you you all for your love and support and sending you all blessings and well wishes X 

Monday, 18 May 2015

Nature's Gifts.....

'When the mind is tranquil and serene, we can appreciate the beauty in everything'

Five months ago I fell in love with Northern Laos, as I travelled through it's picturistic landscapes, I vowed that I would be back sometime soon. I am pleased that I fulfilled my promise to myself as I am more in love with this region of the country than before. It fills me with joy on so many levels- the nature, the people, the culture and the possibilities of the future.

Luang Namtha has been a stunning training ground for my lead up to the multi day stage race in Bhutan. The Rubber tree plantations are an interesting place to run through, as well as being cool, and climbing up the mountains that hug the outskirts of the town means being rewarded by panoramic views each and every time.

Although it is humid and rainy at times here, it's been a delight to head out and explore unknown trails that have led to hidden villages, acquaintances with locals, exploring rubber plantations, temples, rivers and jungles.

Every run has been a real joy and rewarded with the bountiful gifts of the region's natural and cultural wonders.

As for teaching and education programs in this part of the world, it has been difficult to connect with educational projects. It seems that there a few resources and foreign support that many projects that do get initiated don't have the management or finances to follow through with their goals. I do see potential here and hope to be back in the future with some educational proposals I hope to initiate with the help of some very supportive and passionate locals.

So with a week and a half to the race in Bhutan I will continue to enjoy running in nature's bountiful gifts here in Luang Namtha.....

Monday, 4 May 2015

Kids In Cambodia Fundraiser.....Part 1

'Giving is like drawing water from a well; as water is drawn, more flows in. It is by giving that blessings continue to flow" Shih Cheng Yen

Almost a year ago, I quit my job in Japan and decided to travel the world with a very clear goal in mind. Through my journey I was looking for ways in which I could compassionately impact the world and soon enough the answer was revealed. As an educator, I believe that every child should have the right to an education but unfortunately in this world that isn't always the case.

So my mission is to try and support students in developing countries who desire to go to school and learn and who dream of going to Uni and obtaining a degree in a career that would benefit their family, community and society.

So for my next Ultra Run, I have decided to make it a focus to raise Funds for students and their schools in Siem Reap. 
While I was in Siem Reap, I met an extraordinary man, Prosh, who started teaching english to children in his community in his living room. They came in flocks. Soon his house was no longer big enough for all the enthusiastic children, so he invested his money and raised funds to build several buildings that have now become a small community school. The children come from far and wide and their smiles reveal how excited they are to be there in the classrooms, learning and believing that they have hope for the future.

Prosh is one example of the grass roots community projects that enthusiastic locals undertake to benefit their communities. However, there is always the issue of funding these projects in such a poor country. That's where our support can be of benefit.

So my mission in conjunction with two exceptional Aussies, Barb and Chris, who have started the Kids In Cambodia Kickstart Program (KICK), is to raise funds for building projects and curriculum development amongst other things.

Barb and Chris now live in Siem Reap and have dedicated their time and efforts to this cause, an exceptional and very motivated couple. Their goal is to create sustainable communities with the support of like minded people who would like to contribute their skills, knowledge and support to these projects. So they initiated the very innovative KICK program and have since been working tirelessly to raise funds and improve living and schooling in Siem Reap.

So on May 29th, I will head to the raw and unique country of Bhutan. Bhutan is the only country in the world that measures the progress of society in terms of "Gross National Happiness". I look forward to many enlightening experiences in this stunning and remarkable place, where I will be running 200km over 6 days with over 10,000 meters elevation gain.

It sounds tough but knowing that I am running not only in a spectacular and spiritual location but also for a very important cause, make the experience all that more special and humbling.

So stay tuned for more details as to how you can support the Kids in Cambodia Kickstart Program, about my experiences running Bhutan and on going progress reports of how your contributions have made a difference to the children in Siem Reap. I will be posting regular information and updates on this blog and on my FB page and on the KICK FB page.

'Every tiny drop of water contributes to making a bucket full'