Let’s Clear the Air

There are many misconceptions of mission/volunteer/humanitarian work whatever you want to call, the work that I do. I just want to clear the air before I head off on this amazing journey for the second time.18301120_1649851021696006_3439531867577645604_n

First, let’s conquer the things I am not. I do not think I can save the world. I do not think I can save Africa. I do not think I can save Malawi. I do not think I can save Rumphi (the village in Malawi I will be in). This is not a self-fulfillment trip.   I am not going over with the western mindset of “this is what these people need.” I am not going over to Malawi throwing money at the people saying, “This will help you.” Why are you going all the way over to Africa to help somebody? I am not going over there to die. I am not going over there to take jobs away from the local people. I am not going over to do more harm than good. This trip is not the first, nor the last trip of its kind.18342188_1597332310307633_5476053124544942058_n

Now, I know what you are thinking, “Jill, I never thought you were doing any of those things.” Well, these are questions/statements I am faced with almost every day since I decided to go to South Africa a year ago. For those that do not know, I am going to Malawi (a landlocked country in the southeastern part of Africa near, South Africa) with my non-profit, Something Amazing, for 3 months. This is my second trip, however, this is Something Amazing’s first group trip that will have two people accompanying me throughout this journey.

My big vision for Something Amazing is to make lasting programs that anyone can continue:

  1. Send more students to school/college on scholarship
  2. Create a breakfast program for the students to no longer be hungry for school.
  3. See what the access to health care entails- with the goal to educate and create a volunteer program.

Now, let’s focus on the things I personally will be doing while over in Malawi. I want to get to know the people, by name. I want to learn what it is like to live below the poverty line. I want to shine a light to the joys and happiness that even at the lowest times people have. I want to learn the needs of the people from the people and officials. I want to learn to play soccer from the school kids. I want to love on each child like he/she is my own. I want to teach the kids how to play UNO. I want to shine a light on a little unknown corner of the world. If I come back and I have impacted one person, one child then I completed everything I went over there to complete.18301195_1595435813830616_2976358664684485220_n

Also I want to thank everyone who has sent encouraging messages and have personally called me a superhero. It means a lot and helps me dearly when I am struggling to get ready for this trip. Last year my cheering section was a handful of people. This year I have a full stadium, and I am ready to take you on this journey with me.

 

 

T-minus 1 day until I leave.

Until next time,

Stay Awesome,

Jill

93 days and I cant wait!

We are exactly 93 days until I leave for Malawi for 2 months. malawi 10

For those who are unaware of this trip or what Something Amazing does, Something Amazing is a nonprofit that helps lower the cost of volunteer trips more affordable for anyone to go. Along with, making trips affordable Something Amazing partners up with a local village and school in order to help the children and people in that village. Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world where many people lack basic necessities. In order to help, we must raise enough funds before our first group trip this summer! We currently have two people signed up to go on this group trip.

All money raised will go to our efforts to:malawi 12

  • Send more kids to school
    • It cost roughly $45 a semester to $$125 a semester to send someone to secondary school or college
    • We currently send two boys, Andrea and Freddy, to Secondary school and college.
  • School Supplies for the village
    • Roughly $100 to $150 can supply enough school supplies for 200 students for 6 months.
    • We have two schools we are currently helping.
  • Other projects
    • Bring Freshwater
    • Soccer supplies for the local teams.

This is where you can help!

Below are two links where you can donate:

This link you can donate and ALL proceeds go towards our current programs:

This link you can buy a Spa Basket that is fully handmade with all natural oils. The basket includes soap, bath bomb, soap scrub or bath salts and a handcrafted wooden soap holder.

This basket is $22 or two for $40. Half of the proceeds go towards our programs. 16523173_10212420019240511_1042214776_o-1

Our goal is to raise $1000 in order to help a great help while our there this summer. Do something Great today and help! Majority of money will go directly towards the programs we have planned!!Stay Awesome!Jill

New Things to Come

Everyone says 2016 was their worst year yet. For me, 2016 was one heck of a roller coaster. This year may have had its downfalls, but I enjoyed every curve ball, crying nights, laughing mornings, new adventures, and scary moments. This will not be a blog where I tell you about every amazing or not so amazing things that have happened in the last 364 days. (If you are interested in those adventures, read my previous blogs.)

But I will tell you 3 things I have learned this year:

  1. Travel as much as you can

There is nothing more satisfying in the world than traveling to new destinations. If you have always wanted to travel someplace book your plane ticket. Travelling doesn’t have to be super expensive, nor do you have to wait until you are established in order to travel. In 2017 I am trying to reach as many countries as I can. This year I went 3 (South Africa, France, Bahamas) next year I will aim for 6. I have already booked my ticket for an awesome summer in Southern Africa, but I cannot wait for the other adventures to come.

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  1. You never will have enough money

The biggest thing I learned is money always comes back. Stop working every day and not enjoying life. Take that vacation you always wanted, go to the restaurant you never got a chance to try, buy that shirt you love. In 5 years you’re not going to look back and think I wish I didn’t spend all that money; instead, you will remember the memories you are making. Start saving. Each check after all responsibilities put 50 dollars to the side and after 4 months do something fun with what you saved.

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  1. Meet new people.

Stop being shy and talk to people. 85% of the time if you start a conversation with someone they will answer back. I do not know why people have lost hope in humanity, but not everyone is a serial killer. If you like a person’s shirt, say something,. Want to hang out with someone, invite them over. Stop being shy and staying home alone, meet new people. It is okay to meet new people. Some of my best friends are people I have met overseas, or someone I started a random conversation with.  Start small, all you have to do is say, “Hi.”

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It’s a new year to become a better person than you were last year. Embrace all the downfalls and cheerful times this year has to bring. Something Amazing has some awesome things planned for this year. Including, but not limited to our very first group trip to Malawi. My plane ticket is purchased and I am more than excited.  5 months to go, and a lifetime of memories. 2016 is was amazing and now I am ready for 2017.

 

Happy New Year

Until Next time,

Stay Awesome

Jill

Trip #2: Malawi

Warning this blog post is not for the small minded.

“ A man’s gift makes room for him and brings him before great men.” Proverbs 18:16. Traveling has given me the opportunity to meet so many different people 12325241_1122600041114198_2080878537_nfrom all walks of life; chefs, restaurant owners, hostel managers, and others.  While staying at a hostel called Stoked Backpackers in Muzinburg, South Africa I met the manager, Henlry.  He is an amazing man from Malawi, a landlocked country in southeastern Africa.
He has been living in the country of South Africa for seven years and provides for his family back in Malawi.  After many years of helping the local communities in the different townships of Cape Town, he has started a volunteer program back in his home village, Lumemo, Malawi.  After a few conversations with Henlry, we realized we had similar dreams and we can work to together to achieve a common goal.

For those that are not familiar with volunteering and mission trips, they can be very expensive.  I always had a strong desire to help people around the world.  After officially being on my first volunteer trip I can say this isn’t fully what I was expecting, but I embraces all challenges and worked through them. Something Amazing is here to illuminate the gap between volunteers and companies. Volunteering should be a family shared experience that accompanies the volunteer along the way. The vision for Something Amazing is to have those on a limited budget to experience the world first hand in a safe environment while giving back. On each trip Something Amazing sets out to donate to the village/ program/organization in areas where help is needed.

I am excited to say Something Amazing is announcing our second trip! This trip will be open to others to join! A three-week trip to the village of Lumemo in Malawi.  downloadThis trip would run from Mid December to early January. Sekanawo Volunteering Program in the Kingfisher campsite is welcoming Something Amazing to join on a three week volunteering program. There are three different programs available, assisting in the HIV health care program, teaching/mentoring in the schools, or working on the farmland. In these exciting three weeks along with volunteering and helping the community you will be able to see and experience the culture and beauty of Malawi.

Here is a mock itinerary, there will be four days volunteering and the weekend will be spent exploring the culture of Malawi. Week 1 of the trip we will visit the Nyija National Park, Week 2 we will visit the Mushroom Farms to see Machewe Falls.  Week 3 we will experience The Kazuni Vwaza Game Reserve. I know you may be thinking that this trip will be very expensive, but as promised it isn’t.  Due to sponsors (personal and companies) and generous donations from the supporters of Something Amazing, the only cost to the participant will be the flight and an administration fee.  All housing, food, and weekend activities will be covered through Something Amazing.

Volunteering is for anyone that has the heart to help. Spending Christmas in a village that needs our help will change your outlook on life. I am working hard to secure all the details to make this Something Amazing’s first group volunteer trip. Something Amazing 2 Green 3If you or anyone else (18 or older) is interested in joining me. Or if you have a company that wants to help sponsor a portion of this trip email me at ExperienceSomethingAmazing@gmail.com. I can answer all questions about the costs, flights, and fees there. Please share this blog with anyone you believe may be interested. The things to come are exciting

Until Next Time,

Stay Awesome

Jill