It’s no longer “okay”…

As I sit here in the comfort of my house, watching Sophia the First with my daughter (and of course enjoying a cuppa tea) I am reminded by Facebook posts that a mere 15kms to the west people are protesting and marching in memory of the lives so needlessly lost in Libya.

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Photos courtesy of Abeba from the march on 23 April 2015.

I have no idea how you are meant to deal with this situation as an outsider living in this amazing country. I can only tell you that when the people were held hostage in the Lindt café in Martin Place in Sydney earlier this year, I immediately felt an overwhelming pride in being Australian. I felt I wanted to be there to mourn with my fellow Aussies over those lives so needlessly lost and I felt a little uneasy about what is happening in the world.

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Photos courtesy of Abeba from the march on 23 April 2015.


Then, one day, I decided that all I could do was my bit, my little piece to heal and my little piece to change things. While it may not change the world and it may not change hundreds of live, if I can make the world a better place for one person then I am in the right place.

I don’t want this to be a depressing blog. I want to celebrate life and the lives that have been lost by not letting them be lost in vain. I’m not settling for that, I’m not settling for accepting wrong and doing nothing, I am not settling! And as I write this I just received a Facebook message from my good friend Caitlyn  (and I am sorry I can’t credit anyone for this as we don’t know who wrote it):

“Look around you and look inside you. How many people do you think are settling? I will tell you: a hell of a lot of people. People are settling everyday into okay relationships and okay jobs and an okay life. And do you know why? Because okay is comfortable. Okay pays the bills and gives you a warm bed at night and allows one to go out with co-workers on a Friday evening to enjoy happy hour. But do you know what okay is not? Okay isn’t thrilling, it isn’t passion, it isn’t the reason you get out of bed and wake up everyday; it isn’t life changing or unforgettable. Okay is not the reason you go to bed late and wake up early. Okay is not the reason you risk absolutely everything you’ve got just for the smallest chance that something absolutely amazing could happen.”

So, I am not settling for okay in life or at Shamida. Okay doesn’t cut it with me. From now on when people ask me how I am, I will NOT reply with “okay”. I am going to start and try to take the word okay out of my vocabulary…who wants to join me?




Well, it’s been months, and in that time I’ve had a few Christmases, a New Years and a couple of Easters – with no chocolate for me, by the way!

We have had volunteers, sewerage running through the back of Shamida, water leaks, and power problems. All in all, a ‘typical’ few months in Ethiopia!

We have some great news; babies are at Shamida! Well, one baby, but it’s started, and this is what has been keeping me very busy, finalising all the paperwork.


So, as I sit at the Ghion hotel waiting to meet some people and sipping on my cuppa (albeit Ethiopian tea and not Tetley tea), I am overwhelmed with the thought that we have done it. It seems surreal, exciting, and scary, all at once.

The next step is having the container shipped from Dubai to Ethiopia – four days travelling time and 25 days in Ethiopian customs. But I think if we’ve waited 17 months for the first baby to arrive, we can wait another few months for the 60 cubic square-metre container.

I will keep the posts up-to-date. If anybody is thinking of coming to volunteer over the next few months, and is good at unpacking, sorting and putting Ikea cots together, please contact me.

Back to my cuppa!