Friday, December 23, 2005

Hope Rwanda

Just read this on Brooke Fraser's site, which I heard about through Frank.
I recommend you all go and have a look!

"Hope Rwanda
In June of this year I travelled to Africa, visiting Rwanda and Tanzania. Spending time with my World Vision sponsored child Anna and her family in their home near Arusha, Tanzania was pretty darn special, but it was the nation of Rwanda that got under my skin and into my heart.
It has been five months since that trip: a long time to have allowed to have passed without writing about it. I think I was waiting to recover. But I still haven't and kinda hope I never do.

I will always recall walking through the village of Kabuga on my second to last day in Rwanda, thinking about the things I had seen and the people I had met and formed relationship with. To be honest, the selfish part of me was afraid, because minute by minute a weighty sense of responsibility was growing and I knew that my time in Rwanda wasn't something I could just cross off a "valuable life experiences" checklist. If I thought of this trip that way, I would simply be a voyeur and a tragedy tourist, as guilty as those who stood by in 1994 as a million Rwandans were mercilessly wiped out by their neighbours, teachers, community leaders in 100 days.

I know this sounds pretty heavy... and it is. But as I've since written in song form? ?now that I have seen, I am responsible? (Albertine). Here I had been handed a task for my life and it scared/scares the crap out of me.

So what can I, a little 21 year old girl from Lower Hutt, do? I've sold some albums and I've had some songs on the radio in a nation half the size (population wise) of Rwanda? I sure as heck don't have global influence or millions of dollars. But I don't need those things to help another person. And neither do you. We just need to care and make that care tangible through action.

Next year I have the privilege of being involved in an initiative called Hope Rwanda: 100 Days of Hope. Beginning on April 7, 2006 and concluding on July 15 the global community, in conjunction with the Rwandan government and church leaders across all denominations, have been invited to get involved in bringing practical hope and healing to the people of this nation.

UNICEF will be immunising children, World Vision and Compassion will be feeding the hungry and beginning long-term assistance for families and communities through child sponsorship. Professionals in the building trade and education/medicine will be offering their services. AIDS education will be offered to women and there will be prison visits to the 800,000 incarcerated. Homes are being built for widows and child-headed families, and a team from the Sydney Adventist Hospital will be performing open heart surgeries in the King Faisal Hospital of Kigali. Many from around the world have expressed their interest in contributing to 100 Days of Hope? Habitat for Humanity and the International Justice Mission among them, in addition to renowned photographers and musical artists.

Within the 100 days there will be two youth focus weeks, wherein permission has been granted by the Government to host a musical festival and other activities in universities. This is where I will personally be involved. If you are interested in getting involved, find more info at

Additionally, next year World Vision New Zealand will be the support office financially assisting child-headed households like the ones I visited in Kabuga and taking on the sponsorship of 800 children in the Kanombe region. I hope to help in raising awareness of this opportunity for everyday Kiwis and Aussies to put compassion into action and practically and radically impact a life through child sponsorship. I have seen it first hand. The difference we can make is completely, overwhelmingly real. To sponsor a child or get more information about the work of World Vision, check out their websites, which I've listed for you below.

Thanks for caring.

WV New Zealand WV Australia WV United States WV United Kingdom "

Monday, December 12, 2005

Perfection and Peace

We decorated our Christmas tree today. My three nephews and one niece, and I. Isn't it funny how your first thought is to make it look perfect, yet when the decorations fly across the room amidst chaotic yells, the branches get a little bent, the overdose of tinsel almost diguises the tree entirely, and it's no longer a tree but a mass of lights, bells, and those beads you made when you were five, that's when you rethink perfection. The sparkling mass in our lounge may not be visually aesthetic, but to me it's perfect.

A girl I work with is teaching me Chinese. Mei guan xi means no worries.

Today has been in some instances productive (getting some Christmas pressies done) , in some instances aggravating (namely unproductive phone calls), and in some instances relaxing (having a cup of tea and watching desperate housewives).

Last Sunday Brett spoke about "peace". Something he said that stuck with me was, "If peace is something someone can be talked into, is it really peace?" Or something along those lines. It got me thinking... If you talk yourself into peace, is it peace? Or what is it? Is tolerance peace? Does peace come to you, or do you "make" it? Maybe we should all "give peace a chance". Or sweetcorn for that matter ;)

Peace Out.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

A Ramble and a Poem

I know, three posts in three days! Just keeping you on your toes!
But this post comes with a revelation.... I've decided to hop on the poetry train.

I am a daughter, a mother, a lover,
A woven thread
Inextricably bound to a stereotype.

I am a grain of sand,
A world inside another,
A role model for oppressive liberation.

I am boxed in, a mere appearance,
I make morning tea, and rule a nation.
Embodiment of mixed message identity.

I am. I am. Am I?

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

An unproductive Tuesday

I was supposed to be at work today, and actually made it all the way there only to be sent home sick. Which is probably a good thing seeings at it was raining at the time and it may not have been a good idea to be working outside - as was the intention.

So I spent the day in bed trying (unsuccessfully) to sleep, reading Velvet Elvis (see Rhett's blog), and watching Bridget Jones 2.

This left me lots of time to convince myself I'm getting chickenpox, which is most probably not the case but I'll keep you updated...

My resolution

To everyone that's reading this, thanks for still visiting my blog! I swear I will try harder! The first thing that comes to mind is the excuse of being sooo busy. But in the end I probably had lots of opportunities to blog and didn't. So there. Am I forgiven?

Dinner awaits, back soon...

Friday, November 04, 2005


I know, don't die of shock, I'm actually posting!

Well it's been a pretty hectic past month. The reason I haven't been blogging is that every time I go near the computer I feel guilty for not doing assignments/studying. That and the constant cramming of seemingly useless information has made my brain slightly incapacitated as to the ability to think regular thoughts, let alone be able to articulate them in writing!

But seeings as there are only three hours until my last exam, I am starting to exhale and (maybe prematurely) celebrate the completion of my degree and the onset of holidays! What better way to celebrate than to have a fireworks display specifically for me! (Well...also there was something to do with this guy called Guy Fawkes.....)

But now I am at a tricky predicament. The end of my degree has meant I actually have to start the very thing I have been preparing for the past three years. I'm somewhere in between nervousness and excitement. Like the first time you dip your hot chip into ice cream to see if it really does taste good like everyone says. And it does. Maybe that's a good omen...

Post more after exams....

Monday, October 03, 2005

Not much to say...

I went to Whangarei for the weekend for work - both Saturday and Sunday, so it's now Monday and I am sooo exhausted! I was a little unsure about going, partly because when you go on a travel trip you are expected to do really well and get heaps of sign ups. It turned out that Saturday we did do pretty well - 21 altogether, although Sunday we only got 8. The weather on Sunday was crap, which not only meant less people venturing out to the supermarket where we were, but also people were generally not wanting to stop and sign up. The parents of the girl I was working with live just out of Whangarei, so we stayed there overnight and her Mum cooked roast dinner which was yum :) Then Sunday night we travelled home in the pouring rain, but had some good tunes to listen to and way too many lollies. Good times.

Was good to get out of Auckland to work, as the venues here are getting a bit saturated, but missed Rhett and everyone here heaps!

Mum had to go to hospital for an operation last week, but hopefully she will be out by Wednesday. She's recovering really well which is awesome, but still it will be a relief when she gets home and all is ok.

Sorry I don't have anything intellectually stimulating to say today, too tired, just waiting for the coffee to kick in! But last night I was subtly reminded that I haven't blogged in a week.... (Jean!) so here it is :)
But because I'm not very interesting, here's a maze to capture your attention...good luck!

Monday, September 26, 2005

Searching For Purpose

It's been 6 days since my last blogfession....

I find it strange how Christians are forever searching for our "purpose in life". As if it were not enough to find Jesus, we are constantly struggling for fulfillment. Why are books like "The Purpose Driven Life" (with daily planner and journal), "Wild at Heart" and "Your Best Life Now" in the top ten Christian bestsellers list? I am not discounting the valuable material in these books, just questioning why the title itself attracts readers. It's as if we are expecting our "purpose" to be concrete, and awaiting our discovery where all will be revealed.
On hindsight, when "The Purpose Driven Life" was published, I was filled with a sense of excitement and relief, as if it was finally going to give me a clue as to what I was here to do. Instead it left me with more questions.

Of course God uses certain people to do certain things, the evidence is in the Bible with ordinary (and mostly unprepared) people like Moses, Esther, and Paul to name a few. However, I think that so often we become preoccupied with searching for our specific purpose, that we ignore the journey God has us on and what we can achieve by day-to-day living. I can only speak for myself when I say that often I felt guilty for "wasting" time when I should have been discovering what God's specific "plan" for me is, and worrying that maybe I'll get it wrong. It's like that feeling you get when you get told you have "unused" potential that should be channeled, yet you don't know how to go about that.

There is no way we can understand God's plan for our lives, only on hindsight can we look back and recognize where God was at certain times. Rather than "search" for our purpose, maybe we should just be led. I remember being told in my 5th form careers class that 75% of us will end up in jobs that haven't even be created yet. Maybe it's the same with God's plan. There's no way of knowing who we will meet or impact in the future, so stress less about if you're doing the right thing to get there.

In saying that, I do believe God puts the desires in your heart, and a person with a passion for youth or overseas aid will probably be used by God in these areas. I guess what I'm saying is maybe we should stop searching and hoping we're getting it right, and just start living.

Someone once told me that instead of praying for the right doors to open, pray for the wrong doors to close. Therefore you can try everything. Was this what Jesus meant when he told us to "live life to its fullest"?

I am excited at the position God has me in at the moment, and curious as to know where I will end up.
Although, if I do have a concrete "purpose in life", I hope it's to be a rock star :)

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

The Moral of the Story

I had the flu this weekend. Can't remember too much of Saturday & Sunday as I slept most of it. Then Monday drove to uni to hand in an assignment and officially slacked off the rest of the day recovering. Today was more of a revitalize day, getting energy back and psyching myself up to get back into the busy-ness that is my life (whilst in the company of my fantabulous fiance who brought me coffee over in the morning).

As much as I hate being sick (and try my best not to take my grumpiness out on the people around me) it did have a silver lining this time. I realized that the world still goes on without me stressing about every tiny detail, that certain things (mainly uni work) can actually wait, and it gave me time to "do nothing" which is definately food for the soul. Good times.

I can't wait til elections are over and I can stop analysing every detail of New Zealand's political atmosphere. Oh, and rumour has it that Winston Peters went fishing the day after the election instead of working out coalition agreements. Possibly searching for underwater terrorist communities?

Back at uni tomorrow, I hope it doesn't rain.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Finally Arrived

Yes I have arrived in blog-world, I can feel the geekness start to seep in.... just kidding! Hopefully I can find some interesting things to say in the coming days, weeks or months, mostly this blog will just be an outlet for my thoughts however profound or mundane.
This is an amazing feat for someone as anti-technically minded as myself, I have trouble even working the DVD, what was so bad about video's anyway? So bear with me, here's a bit about myself:
I was born in Essex, England and moved to NZ when I was 2. So I call myself a "kiwi", a "Pakeha" a "NZ-European" or whatever the politically correct term may be. Since then I have lived in Howick, and can still remember the days when "Meadowlands" was actually that. But let's not be nostalgic, where would I be without Botany Town Centre catering to my every need and want, offering caramel lattee's just $4 away.......

I am six weeks away from finishing a 3 year Bachelor of Arts, majoring in English and Sociology. Not completely out of student mode however, as next year I will doing a post-grad in teaching. Can't wait to finish and finally be out doing what I've waited this long for, although I must admit being a student has it's upside - Munchie Mart, listening to music on the bus, surviving on coffee and V, and meeting so many different people.

As most of you know, Rhett and I are getting married in January, making these next four months the slowest ever! Wedding plans are fun/hectic/exciting/hard. What I'm most looking forward to is living in our own little house with our whole lives ahead of us together. And someone to make me breakfast in the mornings :)

We have been going to a church called "Cession" for about 3months now, and I can honestly say I feel completely at home there. What I like the most about it, is the emphasis on 'community', so you feel accepted from the minute you walk in, it's grounded, and "real-ness" permeates every facet - from the people to the worship to the cup of tea afterwards.

So that's a bit about me, but I'd better save some stuff for my next posts.....