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 [...]

Yesterday was one of my favorites.

We drove to Rivas, a town 20 minutes north of San Juan del Sur to help cook and serve food to 70 children who would ordinarily spend their days rummaging in a dump with their parents looking for anything they could possibly sell. (more on that project in another blog)

On the way we make a pit stop to Max’s house. Max is a local gardener who works on the property where we live. We find him on the side of the road waiting for the bus so offer him a lift home. He insists we must see his children.

Arriving unannounced he invites us into his home to meet his family –his wife, his daughters, his mother in law, a ton of cousins and their mothers who were all so thrilled about our visit. I love how open and hospitable the Nicaraguan people are. Living in their humble homes that usually consist of one room with a dirt floor, corrugated iron walls and a roof, they are proud to have guests.

They introduce us to their 2 dogs, 4 cats, parrot and Frederick, the piglet who greets us as warmly as his owners.

Plastic chairs suddenly appear for us and we sit, laugh and chat in my broken Spanish as the kids disappear with their new friends who find them, and their blonde hair fascinating.  I love watching children with their open hearts make instant friends where language, diversity and economic stability create no barrier. They are all the same – young and innocent and living in the moment.

They are disappointed when it’s time for us to leave and all want to know when we can return and visit again.

I suggest to my girls that perhaps one-day Max’s children can come over to our house and swim in the pool. They tell me they would prefer to come back to Max’s houses to play at their home.

It has been a beautiful moment with beautiful people. I feel happy and grateful for this experience and honored to be in the company of such gracious people whom we have so much to learn from.


That evening, Jordi, my almost 10 year old has an epiphany.

‘Mum, I think the poor people are actually richer than the rich people’ she said. ‘Because rich people are always trying to be better than everyone else and they want the best of everything and bigger houses and the best toys, whereas the poor people seem to make the most of what they have, which is not a lot and they seem happier and more relaxed about life”

I am floored by her wisdom, my eyes fill with tears and I tell her how lucky she is to have that insight at such a young age.

As I am relaying the story to my husband, we both agree that THAT is exactly why we live in Nicaragua.

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  1. Natalie Green said...

    Doesn’t get better than that. xo

    Jul 25, 2012 at 10:15 am
  2. Kristi said...

    Beautiful story Julie, most adults don’t ever come to that realization, how wonderful that your children are learning that already.

    Jul 31, 2012 at 11:34 am
  3. Sharni said...

    Just wonderful.

    Nov 04, 2012 at 5:15 am

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