Transparency: A Career or Love

 

I am trying something new and being totally transparent.

This will be a 3 part blog

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Part 1 : A Relationship or my Career

Over the last few weeks every spare moment I had to myself, my mind has been racing. A million and ten questions and doubts have flooded my brain. Many of these doubts have attacked my love life and my purpose in life. Am I where I want to be in life? How can I inspire people if I cant even find inspiration myself? How can someone love me if I am half way around the globe? How can I possibly stay in a relationship while I work in a developing country?

I have for YEARS said that anyone that I will date/marry will know from the beginning that my purpose in life is to help in a developing country. This means I will be traveling the world and many times will be away for long periods of time. And if they had ANY issue with me full-filling my purpose they could leave. From the moment I realized my goals, I made that point very clear. Every time I met someone the very first thing they learned about me was I will travel until the day I die.39186499_930315210503635_6519978930508660736_n

The deal was every summer until I graduate I’ll be away and the moment I graduate college I will go teach in another country. Now over the years, the country has changed and the people who surrounded me have been different, but the end goal has stayed the same. After a few broken hearts and many tears, I came to the conclusion having a love life and actively pursuing my dreams was impossible. I began telling people, “If you see me in 7 years and I’m living in a 3rd world country with 2 fostered/adopted children, just know I’m living my best life.”

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Now your probably thinking I said this a long time ago…..Nope. I said this exactly a year ago. Although that truly is living the dream, it isn’t fully what I desired. I wanted someone that would encourage me to chase my dreams no matter how ridiculous.  I wanted someone to not be afraid of the world no matter how scary it could be. I wanted someone to love God just as much as they loved me. I wanted someone to look at my flaws and see how we could turn them into strengthens. I wanted someone to see that my brain worked a little differently. I wanted someone to read my terrible text messages and understand that my brain works faster than my fingers. Most importantly, I wanted someone to love me for me and not think that over time my mind will change.

I had given up on finding that, not in a sense that I would be

39167121_1108043876010114_3967853395506626560_nalone for forever, but I would have to sacrifice my love life and chase my dreams.  And then I met Gabriel, (Gabe for short) I wont tell you the long boring story, but I will say he doesn’t make me have to choose. He understands that there is this burning passion inside of me and simply supports me. A year ago when we met, I knew I would be in China come May 2018 and he would be leaving for the military. Knowing that we both had passions and desires that potentially would keep us separate for a long time, we continued to pursue the relationship.

We never truly prepared for the distance instead we just let it hit us like a train. Long distance does not have all the thrills, but I still manage to love him from 10,000 miles away.
In this three part Transparency mini Saga I will be letting you into the world of Jill. Part two will be how I cope with long distance, and part 3 will be long waited life updates.
Until Next time
Stay Awesome
Jill

 

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We Eat to Survive.

Let’s talk about food. I have been asked many times how the food was over in Malawi. At home I have a plethora of choices. Today will we have chicken or fish? Do we want sautéed veggies? Rice or pasta? How bout tacos? What about Chinese food? These are daily questions I ran threw my head when looking into my pantry. Americans are wasteful, we also buy way too much, even things we may not need or want. We buy it because it is there.19179614_1648193078554889_1690278931_o1.jpg
The average Malawian, even though there may be many options for food, eat to survive. Varation in food is for those who have money. Having anything left over in your pantry is for those who have money. The average pantry is completely empty. Everyone buys food just for that day and there is no left overs. Mnay homes do not have elctricity or there ar emany power outages that make having a fridgerator difficult. Now the access to get food is very simple usually a 5 minute walk from any house. The need to go to a store that is far is not the issue. Personally, I feel if the store was far, everyone would still only buy what they need because that is the culture.
The daily menu looks like, breakfast: tea, butter and bread, sometimes boiled sweet potatoes or porge (made out of NSima). One time we had popcorn and tea that was a very interesting day.20862370_1730918470282349_652235855_o.jpg
Lunch: NSima (which is corn grinded down to flour and water) with some sort of relish  (usually: mustard greens, chinese cabbage, pumkin leave,  tomotoes, onion and possibly beans)


Dinner: is usually very similar to lunch there maybe chicken, (usually once a week) and a different Varation to the relish as mentioned above. Other than the above mentioned options these are the meals that are made. (The fish I had is only had the campsite due to being right next to the lake different area ,different staple).

Each night at dinner we would huddle around a small coffee table. There was one bench that 3 out of the 11 people in the house could sit on. In Malawi it is custom that the vistors eat and dish out their food first. Now I know you are probally imagining big serving dishes, with alot of food. But no, these were small normal sized bowls meant to feed 11 people. Before dishing any food out a younger child in the family would have a pitcher of water and a bowl, for each person to wash their hands before eating.

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Now you may think to yourself why don’t you buy other food, cook for the family, show them a different variation? This is like telling your grandmother there is a different way to make a dish, that she has prepared 80 years the same way. It just doesnt happen. Even if there is rice, pasta, anything else, everyone still wants the staples. It is what they know. I can not change that, nor do i wnat to but j can adjust. I have learned to love certain ascents of the food, and sometimes just close my eyes and eat because I’m starving. Sometimes I’m still hungry. Many times I just don’t think about it. Or sometimes I make the choice not to eat because I can not stomach the meal. Meal times are no longer an enjoyable time of the day for me.


I have learned that we eat for survival here, not for enjoyment. Maybe this is one of my many first world problems, but adjusting is never an issue. All I can think about many times is just wanting tacos. I have personal found a few hidden gems that I enjoy here, like these fried donuts (without the super sugary part) and a few good cookies. Or the fresh fries and fried chicken on the side of the road. As I choke down this sweet potato and tea, I’d rather run into the comfort of my money, but sadly others cant.

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Until Next Time

Stay Awesome
Jill

Why Change?

I have officially been home for three months. These three months have been a heap of fun, heartbreak, changtable mountain.jpges and anything else that could have turned my life upside down. Through these three months, I have learned the true meaning of adapting to change. Many of us hate change. As people, we get comfortable in how we live. We tend to stray away from anything different from the usual routine. Coming back home to simple Georgia was one of the hardest things I have done. The transition back to an everyday life of not being in a foreign country has taken a toll on my mind and soul. Some days were extremely difficult and in order to get through the day I reminisced on my adventures and time with my kids.
Other days were great, especially days I ate all the food I missed while aboard. I even went to the extreme lengths and cut my hair off, I am loving my new cut now, but that decision rocked my world for a few weeks.cut hari
Every day for the first month I yearned to be back outside of these country’s borders. Of course, as soon as life started to settle down, and being home didn’t weigh as heavily on my heart, life took another turn. We live in an age where pictures tell a story, every picture is a memory that won’t be lost. I lost majority of my pictures from my South African trip due to my IPhone crashing. It took a few weeks to mentally recover, but I had to realize that the pictures of my kids weren’t the only thing I had left of them. Every day for the second month I did everything I could to find internships in another country. Once presented with an internship in Costa Rica, I was excited to branch my talents and explore a new environment. At this point everything was falling into place, everything I asked for was given to me. Everything does not come at the correct timing’ therefore we must make further adjustments.

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On the third month, everything changed again. I thought Costa Rica was exactly everything I needed at this point in my life. Working alongside a nonprofit as an intern and learning everything needed to properly run a nonprofit. Sadly, I had to turn this opportunity down; in order to study at THE University of Georgia. For those of
my readers that aren’t from the Southern parts of the United States or Georgia, THE University of Georgia is one of the best universities in Georgia and the Southeast. At first, I couldn’t understand why good opportunities kept presenting itself for me to make hard decisions. I was devastated when Costa Rica had to be turned down, but when one door closes God always opens another. Now I am all moved into my new apartment in Athens, Ga and I couldn’t be more excited about the new opportunities awaiting for me at THE Unversity of Georgia.
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I cannot be abroad right now, but everything I do now is to make a better future to travel the world later. Something Amazing has been working hard to secure our trip for next summer. If you or someone you know is interested in going to Malawi please fill out the application.
UPDATE: Freddy has been sent to school with the help of our supporters. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram in order to get weekly updates.
Until next time
Stay Awesome
Jill, Ceo of Something Amazing

Father’s Day Let’s Celebrate!

Fathers do not get the warm welcome of being thanked on this holiday.
Many families have been broken by absent dad5fathers. Children have grown up without a father figure making these people bitter on this holiday. I sympathize with these people, but today is for the fathers. I will be celebrating my father along with all the other fathers who are trying their best in their child’s life.dad6

Let me tell you about the wonderful person I call dad. He came into a family that was already made. The first day we met my older brother, Corey, shot him with a water gun and I threw a plastic knife at him. If on the first day he could handle anything thrown at him we knew he needed to be a part of this family.My dad is a man of few words. He loves differently than any other person I know. He is a person who shows his love. Through the many years of happy and crazy times he has always been there for me. .From the time I came home crying because some boy in the neighborhood said he was going to punch me in the face. To the time I left for my first trip abroad. I love my dad for always standing by me in difficult situations. For always be the person I turn to when a giant bug is torturing me. Or when I have a difficult life decision and he just stares at me while I am rambling.dad3

Step Fathers do not get enough credit. These are men who have many different roles. Apart from being the man of the house, taking care of the family, and all other responsibilities, He steps in when a space is vacant. He did not have to step into our lives when he did, but I couldn’t imagine our lives any different. I thank you for everything you have done. As I said in my Mother’s day blog, I am not the easiest person to be a parent to. Therefore for someone to have stuck around this long and continued to love me even when I say weird things.dad2

I love you dad,

I hope you enjoy your day.

Stay Awesome

Jill

Ohana means family

Lately I haven’t had much to write about. I think I have hit the point in my trip where we are no longer going to all these adventure activities, things are no longer super exciting and I am just enjoying life in South Africa.
South Africa has become like a second home to me. Living here in South Africa has become a way of life.  Driving past the guys panhandling on the street has become normal. One thing that has caught my attention the last few days is Family.13046217_1147368318637370_1775496721_n13059721_1147369348637267_2039473949_n

Family is everywhere. I have family in America that has been cheering from the sidelines. The support I am receiving is sometimes overwhelming. I have family here in Johannesburg, South Africa. I have been blessed to have aunts and uncles that are distant family to open their doors up to me many times. This family is amazing be13059314_1147368075304061_411346154_ncause we were strangers before I came, but turned into close family. I flew to Johannesburg for the weekend and they throw a surprise belated 21st birthday Braia for me. I truly feel as though I am sitting back in America with my natural born family when I am around them.  My life here in Cape Town I am also surrounded by family.
The Three Germans I met while living in the house have become sisters. We argue, laugh, play, and go out together just like sisters would. I am so glad to be around wonderful people who encourage each other to be better. I never would have thought half way around t12992914_1142448529129349_415738570_nhe world I would have found such amazing friends. I cannot forget about my lovely host parents who open their doors to many different international students. The support they are giving each of us through the different transitions and issues we have had.

13023293_1147367708637431_1810552598_nMy last circle of family is my kids. Today we watched the movie Home together. In my heart I was so disturbed and saddened because there is a big theme of family and how much family means to the main characters. My kids do not have a proper family, but still within their hearts they know the importance of family. A lot of these kids have been growing up together since they can remember. The staff members have been their aunts and uncles, the other kids are their brothers and sisters, and occasionally when they make a special bond to a volunteer another piece of family is found. Family can never be defined, it can never have a specific structure or look.  Each of these kids have become a part of my family inside of my heart. A simple smile warms my entire heart. My days at the orphanage are slowly c13023640_1148873075153561_1549415742_noming to an end.  These kids have been my entire life these last three and a half months and I cannot de
scribe the feeling I receive everyday by being around them. Two weeks ago I walked pass this gem (picture to the right),
I had never seen her before and didn’t quite know where she came from, but I loved her. I had only met her for 3 seconds and I already hugged, kissed, and spread as much love as I could towards her. It doesn’t matter what your family consist of whether its mom, dad, dog, sister, or brother, as long as love resides in the middle everything else can be over looked.

Until next time

Jill

Twenty and Completely Lost

I am 2 days away from being 21. I have grown so much in this last year, it is unbelievable. In my 21 years of life I have never experienced a year like this.  This time last year I had the worst birthday of my life, I found myself in a place I will never want to be again, but by the grace of God I am no longer there. It took jill10.jpgmany months of planning, and planning again, to finally realize that only God can steer this ship. If my plans had come true I would be at Valdosta State in my third year of schooling, and not traveling the world meeting amazing people. You cannot plan your life out, no matter how concrete you think your plans are.jill9.jpg

This journey has not been easy, it has taught me a lot. Here are a few of my favorite things.

  1. I can dance a little harder. I am gaining more Self confidence in everything. I love to dance, when I hear music I always move my body and have fun. I can make a fool of myself and honestly not care. If people do not like it they can leave.
  2. My dreams are bigger. Occasionally I will meet someone who is extremely happy and excited for what Something Amazing can/has become. Other times people who are very negative and very discouraging. I intimidate a lot of people because I am so focused and steadfast to my dreams. Through it all I can now proudly tell people that by the grace of God and a lot of help I am able to successfully run Something Amazing and impact many people’s lives.jill7
  3. Some people don’t have shoes. I have taken for granted the many things that is a necessity in life. My eyes are open to the fact that some kids cannot attend school because they can’t afford to pay the school fees. Some people do not have any food to eat or clothes to wear. I have taken advantage of the simple pleasure of an American life style that I will no longer do. I do not need a new fancy phone, or the latest Adidas stuff. Now of course there is always a balance to things in life, but I no longer see these things as a necessity.jill6
  4. Family is where the heart is. I love my family with my heart. They have supported, helped and loved me every step of the way. From my lowest moment to my highest moment they have stood by my side. We may not always agree, but I know it comes from a place of love.jill5

This year has giving me many trials, tribulations, happy and sad moments. In one year I have gone from being at college, to living at home helping my family out and getting myself together. I have taken the hardest college semester of my life in 6 weeks thinking I was going to fail to passing with great grades. I’ve been fired, because I was around small minded people that didn’t understand the art of traveling.  To having a job with people who understand, encourage, and pray for me while I travel.jill4 I’ve gone from not traveling outside of the country by myself before to being halfway around the world from my family. I’ve gone from being a girl with big dreams to actually impacting people’s lives and making a difference. I’ve gone from not having any kids to having eleven that I can love on. Many days I have cried myself to sleep not knowing where to go. Many days I’ve been so happy I couldn’t contain the excitement. Many days I felt like giving up, but through it all I never gave up.jill3

Through all of this, I am talking to the person who is in a roughest patch of their life and needs some encouragement. It gets better. If it doesn’t then get up do something different and make a change. You are NEVER stuck in a situation; In one year things can be completely different. I wouldn’t change anything I’ve gone through this year, because I wouldn’t be the person I am standing in front of you.

Until next time,

Stay Awesome

Jill

 

New Tackies

When I was younger and I needed new shoes we went to the store. I got to pick out the shoes with my favorite colors, or the ones that lit up when you walked. At the orphanage things are different, the majority of the clothes and shoes are donated. If someone out grows a piece of clothing or shoes then it may be handed to another child if it is still in good condition. We are now entering into the fall season, the South Africans are freaking out because it’s a little cold. With the season changing, the beds have thick blankets neatly folded across them. The kids are wearing long sleeves, sweaters, and long pants. Some of the clothes may not fit perfectly, some are a little too short or a little too big, but the kids stay warm.12939322_1134153516625517_1561254263_n

Yesterday “new” shoes were given out to each child, instead of measuring their foot to see what size they were, we had the children try on each pair of shoes until we found one that almost fit just right. The kids on the other hand loved their new pair of tackies (shoes). The kids were so excited to get a new pair of shoes and they only wanted to show off their pair. The reality that many of their toes were touching the top, many of the shoes probably were too small, but because that is what’s available no one can complain. One of my kids put on a shoe that was entirely too small, but because they were his favorite color and he liked the design he made his foot fit. Not until the next day could we give him different shoes that fit a little better.12939345_1134153733292162_978880902_n.jpg

Sometimes I reflect and truly realize how blessed I was
growing up. The last few months I have been walking around barefoot for majority of the day unless we go to the mall. One day, a staff member came up to me and pointed to her feet, they were slightly wider than usually, but nothing too bad. She then proceeded to tell me that when she was younger she never had shoes, because they couldn’t afford them. I never realized what I took for granted. Being in South Africa has made me appreciative of the little things in life. Everyone needs shoes that fit properly; that’s a necessity. Yes, some people take it for granted and have 50 pairs of shoes, but in reality some kids do not have any. Through this journey I am growing and changing. I cannot save everyone, but I can inform others. Maybe, someone with 50 pairs of shoes sees these blogs and donates a pair of shoes to a
kid with no shoes.

Until next time

Stay awesome12919163_1134154139958788_300617164_n

Saw a llama in the car being pretty awesome.

Jill Bundy

Easter Joy

This will just be a picture blog.

Something Amazing was invited to provide Easter eggs for a kindergarten class in a township. It was a great experience and I enjoyed playing with all the kids. Along with providing chocolate eggs we gave slime to the kids. Many of the kids had never toughed or seen slime before, their facial expressions were priceless. In South Africa they do not teach the kids English until about the 3rd grade, there was a large language barrier, but regardless of language barrier kids know when they are loved.

Regardless of the image perceived from a township, I felt the community and love through out the streets. The kids were adorable and completely lovable. The teacher was extremely thankful and welcomed us to come back any time.

The rest of the pictures I will post to Facebook follow the Something Amazing page, or add me as a friend Jillian Marie Bundy.

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Stay Awesome,

Until Next time

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

 

Don’t lose a kid

Today was a good day. After arriving, I heard the screams and cries of my kid’s in the background. I thought to myself today will be a great day.  Christine Revell relies heavily on volunteers in order to help the staff members with the daily activities of the kids.  In the winter months, the numbers of volunteer begin to decrease and ultimately zero out, which requires staff to make adjustments.  This is starting to happen now.  Last Friday three volunteers left to go back to their home country. This leaves me and eleven kids (3 and under) alone for lots of fun. Here is how a relatively good day usually goes.

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“AHHH!!!” screamed by six happy toddlers running towards me with open arms for hugs. I make a point to hug and kiss every child so that they fill just a hint of love and affection in the morning.   On a wonderful day, there is no fighting, biting or crying, but because we do not live in a magical world after five minutes of being in the room, I have broken up five fights and comforted three kids.  Now its time to play, whether it is blocks, puzzles, cars, or buttons there is always something for the kids.  Four kids truly enjoy the activity, three are crying for only God knows what, two that are fighting and two are just staring into space.  Already two kids have pooped in their diaper and three are running back and forth to the bathroom trying to play with the water. The trick is always trying to figure out which kid is the culprit.12516119_1119484481425754_484888323_n

The typical toy time though each kid; Sinclair (the Girl with Autism) sometimes is crying constantly.  There are days that nothing can calm her down. She will try to escape or climb all over the room and I always have to keep a close eye on her for her safety.  I must make sure she does not hurt any of the other kids because she is older and does not communicate so she is unable to articulate her feelings.  I must also watch out for Tyrese.  If there is a crying kid near him, he bites their arm to get the toy they are playing with.  Aiden and Asher are my troublesome two. The twins are constantly fighting and rough housing with each other causing one to cry.  Caleb and Bradley are screaming from excitement while playing.  Tatum and Pearle are usually having temper tantrums because they did not get their way. Kyle and Immunati are my quiet ones, but if they are crying, it is because one of the older ones was picking on them.  Lastly Karen (the youngest one), although she is the smallest she causes the biggest problems with swearing and hitting.

Lunchtime can be a struggle with only two people assisting. We always begin with folded hands and a prayer, “God is great and God is good. Let us thank Him for our food. AMEN”.  In about 5 minutes, food has been thrown all over the room.  Food is covering some of the kids from head to toe and some are crying because they do not want to eat.  I never realized how big of a difference fifteen minutes could be until I came here. 12834867_1119486858092183_604151860_n.jpg In fifteen minutes about eleven kids are fed, I have chased three around in order to get them to sit down and two have thrown food on the ground.  I also have placed five kids in their cots to sleep and chased the other five around in order to use the toilet.  Most days my prayer is just to not lose a kid, because the transition from eating to sleeping is extremely hard.  Luckily, I have not lost any kids, so my prayers are working.

After everyone is in their cot sleeping it is finally my break time.  It is only 12 pm and I had one eventful morning.  Even after all the running, screaming, crying, bathroom accidents, and different personalities I love all my kids.  My kids bring joy into my heart each day. I wouldn’t change my morning even if I could. I will say that after being at the orphanage for a few months I do not want to have my own kids for a very long long time.

Until next time.

Stay awesome

Jill