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 [...]

The Power of Giving

December 19, 2011

One of the most common desires for many people in Nicaragua is to own a computer and have the ability to connect to the Internet.

Ironically the prices for electronics are crazy expensive here and with used computers costing around $700.  With most locals earning less than $1 per hour, such a purchase is out of the question.

We’ve had many locals ask us how much a second-hand computer cost in the US. Our regular taxi driver asked because of the benefit a computer would offer his teenage daughter as she finishes secondary school. Our security guard (who also has his own bakery) asked because he has a friend in the US who wants to help him expand his bakery. A computer would enable him to email and skype for free.

And then there’s my Spanish teacher. She is a single mother of 3 who teaches Spanish during the day and is putting herself through university. . Her eldest son is 12 years old so having a computer is HUGE for them both.

I thought about the past 5 years in our home and how often we had old laptops shelved, collecting dust after upgrading to a newer version or a lighter slicker option. At one stage we even had a computer in a closet that an aupair had left after changing from a PC to a Mac. How I wish I could now get my hands on those old laptops.

So I reached out to friends and family who were planning to visit us over Thanksgiving and my brother-in-law managed to bring down an unwanted laptop from his company in New York.

As the hard drive was wiped clean, we spent $30 reloading new software and setting it up for her.

My 9 year old daughter, Jordi and I arrived at my teachers house unannounced and told her we had a gift for her. We made her sit down and close her eyes – Jordi put it on her lap. She opened her eyes and simply broke down – through her sobs she embraced me and kept repeating how important this was to her. She simply could not believe it.

The best part was Jordi observing this exchange – she tugged at my arm and whispered ‘Oh my gosh mum, we just made her so happy’

I think that moment was my favorite in Nicaragua. Not only because it felt so damn good to give such a gift but because of the powerful lesson for my daughter. That day she truly experienced and understood how easily we are able to impact the lives of others.

So thank you Adrian Deen for finding this laptop and bringing it to Nicaragua – Not sure if you realize how much you have changed the world for this family.


If anyone reading this blog has a laptop they are willing to donate, please contact me at julie@hipmum.com We will pay for shipping to my husbands office in the US and will provide you with photographs and details on whose life it has impacted.


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  1. Kylie Timms said...

    Jules, you make me cry..You are such a beautiful soul and what you are doing is not only life changing for you and those you impact it is also life changing for other like me who get inspired to do something no matter how small for others who are less fortunate. Thank you. Lots of love to you and your HUGE heart of gold! Kylie

    Dec 19, 2011 at 6:11 pm
    • HipMum said...

      Thanks Kyles. I hope you and your beautiful family have a gorgeous Christmas.


      Dec 19, 2011 at 7:09 pm
  2. Dana Rice said...

    Yaay Julie! Great idea! I have heard that question before too, how much for a second hand? And it’s crazy that in the US they are just disposable once we upgrade. High five to you girlfriend. xo

    Dec 20, 2011 at 9:05 am
  3. Stephanie said...

    Hi, I am loving your blog/journal. My husband and I along with our 4 kids are serioiusly thinking about moving to san juan, nicaragua. I would love to converse with you about details of your move and time living in Nica. Not sure if you are still there as I notice your last post was in December. If you feel up to it, please email. Thanks

    Feb 05, 2012 at 1:29 am
    • HipMum said...

      Hey Stephanie – would love to chat with you. Sending you an email now.

      Feb 05, 2012 at 1:38 am

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