New year, new me. That's the most common phrase people can tell themselves on January 1st to prepare for a better year. After all, our choices are mentally driven and telling yourself you're going to have a great year is the start to making it happen. I say it every year myself, and this year I plan to stick to it. At the end of 2018, I explained my mini epiphany of really giving back and a big announcement to share. Throughout the last year, I saw every type of life around me. I experienced my own financial roller coaster, but it wasn't until I was exposed to the students of Philly schools that I really opened my eyes to the world around me. I experienced hunger and pain, exhaustion and strain of these young children and all I ever wanted was to make a difference in their lives. But one thing I've come to learn is that American children, Philly children, are entitled, ungrateful, not accepting of help, rigid, and it was hard to make these kids realize their own potential. It is because of the exhausting days in schools getting beaten with rulers and markers and cursed out that I decided my real idea of giving back. It's because of a classroom assistant that shared her own experiences of these children behaving so poorly that led me to this huge announcement that I'm going to share with you today.
Starting from today, January 1st, I plan to continue my path as a substitute but to extend my teaching beyond the classroom. To reach out to kids who will appreciate me, my story, my journey, and of course to prepare myself and my future. This summer, I want to truly give back, I want to spend my time giving back to the world that we live in. And that is why I decided to give two short weeks of my summer teaching children in Africa. Travel has always been a passion of mine and this year I want to spend some time volunteering my time to children who will appreciate the gift of life and make some memories that make me value my own life. We are privileged. Regardless of my own financial situation, it still is no where near as bad as those living in the town of Muizenberg. I want to take my own precious time and give some of it back to those that live a lifestyle completely different then ours.
This will be the first time I go on a trip that is not a leisure trip of my own. I found a great volunteer program that has destinations all over the world and I'm hoping this trip will be one of many volunteer opportunities I embark on. While I am gracious enough to give back on my own, volunteering still requires me paying to give my time. There are program fees, registration fees, airfare, daily bottled water allowances, and other expenses that will add to my already-too-high personal debt. I am hoping to gain some support of my family, friends, and my current blog readers to help make this possible with as little dent to my own debt as possible. I could spend my year paying off my own debt, maybe take a vacation to an island, or continue treating myself (as I often do), but instead I want to spend some time disconnected from reality in a place that needs some of my ample love and attention. My heart is so big and I want to give back just a portion of that to children who want to learn from me, who want to learn daily skills, and who appreciate me more than the children I spend my days with now. If you are reading and you would like to support this wild ride with me, I would appreciate it in any form. I have started a fundraising page here: www.gofundme.com/yncnk9-volunteering-in-africa-2019 and I will also be looking to take supplies and a small bag of items for the children with me. Things like clothes, small toys, and other things you may have lying around your house that would make a child's whole year. Thank you in advance to those who support me and I can't wait to update you in both my journey to Africa and my own continued wild adventures of 2019. Happy New Year and let's make this year count.
Author - mallory
I've always lived a wild life, so here I am to document it for the world... be ready for some fun adventures, xoxo.