Our Journey

Our Journey

I’ve always found inspiration in the developing world where the pace is slow and the people have so little. Usually it’s the strength and resilience in the women that I admire the most. However on a recent trip to Central America I have been changed forever by a group of children – many of them teenagers!! In fact the most respectful, thoughtful , smart, gentle and happy teens I’ve ever come across. Not a lick of attitude amongst them! “Who are their parents?” you ask. No parents, just an amazing organization and a lot of love and structure. As many of you know each summer [...]

Why I created HipMum

Why I created HipMum

I believe women in general are extraordinary, but mothers (not to blow my own trumpet) never cease to amaze me. As the proud mother of four incredible little people (ages 11,9,6, and 4) I understand the meaning of selflessness. Like most families, there is never a dull moment in our house. I’m constantly wishing I had more time to spend with each child and more time to myself. And I wish my bathroom felt less like a highway! Regardless of whether we’ve chosen to work from home, climb the corporate ladder, start a business or stay home with the kids – mothers are the busiest [...]

Two weeks after arriving in Nicaragua my daughter turned 9. Being at an age where her friends are just starting to become important to her I was a tad bit worried that her birthday may be a difficult one considering that we were newly transplanted and there would be no giant sleepover with all the girls in her class.

When it came to thinking about gifts I was stuck too. Her grandparents had given me a few things before we left – a book, a watch and a flash light covered in peace signs – thank God for organized grandmothers. Usually I would take the rest of the family to Target where each child would select a gift.

In San Juan del Sur there is nothing apart from the odd bit of plastic junk that somehow makes it’s way from China to Nicaragua. I’m talking about that crap that comes home from birthday parties in the party bag that we all despise. Since I had just spent the last month getting rid of bags of unnecessary plastic I was not going to buy more simply for the sake of presenting a gift.

So I announced to the family that here in Nicaragua instead of giving gifts for birthdays we would be enjoying experiences together so we put together an itinerary of activities.

With her birthday falling on a Monday, our fun began on Sunday. We decided to invite 2 brothers from the orphanage, Enmanuel and Manuel (go figure) to join us for the weekend. My 2 girls and I caught a bus at 5am to pick the boys up from the orphanage that is an hour away. We did plan on collecting them the day before but because of a political parade being held in a small village between us and the orphanage, the one and only road that connects us was closed for the day. (only in Nicaragua!)

You quickly learn that nothing in Latin America comes easy. Each day brings some kind of hick up that seems to complicate your plans.  You learn to expect it, laugh and go with the flow, be adaptable, change your plans – it all works out in the end.

So it was a very early start to pick the boys up and return to San Juan to catch our ride to the beautiful Playa Hermosa at 8.30am where we spent the morning surfing.

It was so fun watching my husband teaching the boys to surf for the first time. After an hour they were riding waves alongside my girls while three-year-old Matty zipped around on the boogie board. For about 50 cents we drank from coconuts and then played with the baby turtles that had just hatched.

The next day was the big birthday. In the morning we took the kids Zip Lining. What fun that was being amongst the monkeys in the trees and watching the faces of the kids as they flew through the air.

At 2pm we met with our new and fabulous friends, The Rodgers family who are here on a 2 year mission and doing incredible work (www.hopefornica.com) They also have 3 kids who happen to be the same ages as 3 of ours. We picked up a piñata, a cake, some beer and hired a boat to take us to a beautiful private beach.  Passing the cake from person to person as we waded through the water to the boat and then balancing it over the waves – it miraculously survived the trip.

As we sat on the sand discussing life, we watched the kids chase enormous crabs, swim, jump off the boat and explore like the kids from The Swiss Family Robinson. We found the perfect log for baby Delilah to nap and the perfect tree for the piñata. We sang happy birthday and ate cake -  it was a heavenly afternoon. We left as the sun was going down which of course was a magical time of day and just when we thought the day could get no better, we had dolphins follow us home.

I put 6 exhausted kids to bed that night and when Jordi said to me ‘ Mum, that was the best birthday ever’, I replied with ‘I agree, aren’t we the luckiest people in the world?’

 

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2 Comments

  1. Hayley Bracewell said...

    That birthday story made me cry. Happy birthday Jord xxxxx

    Nov 04, 2011 at 6:07 pm
  2. Annie said...

    Sounds so wonderful. Pictures are amazing. So glad you have met new friends. What a perfect birthday.

    Nov 10, 2011 at 6:19 pm

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