Well, Hamilton’s amazing colours this autumn have made me realise I miss having defined seasons. Wellington has many beautiful things, and mild (ish ) weather (never too cold, never too hot, almost always windy ), but it’s lacking these colourful trees leaving a mess all over gardens, roads and walkways 🍁 ❤️
These Belgian waffles delivered to my doorstep tonight are by far the highlight of my day 💕 As a proud Belgian, I obviously have high standards when it comes to food. And that includes my waffles (and my chocolate, my beers, my fries, my bread, my cheese... I you know me, I can go on forever ). These waffles passed the test with flying colours, and that’s because they are the real stuff. Yep, they just bring me back home instantly when I take a bite. You know why? Cause a Belgian made it. Obviously 🙄 Merci @labellewaffle 🥰
Life took a sharp and unexpected turn for us recently. I’m making no sense of it. I’ve lost a piece of me in the process. Tears, doubts, fear, worries, sadness, anger... my emotions have been on a wild roller coaster ride, which in normal times I never attempt for fear of falling off. While things have been shit, my very best friend has been there, every second of it, patient as ever, with so much kindness and respect, and as the most understanding person to have around. He’s picked me up when I was a mess, he’s whispered the right words when nothing felt like it would be fine, he’s dragged me out to clear my head and he’s making me smile again. No matter what life brings, he’s got my back. He’s the best person to be stuck with in lockdown ♥️
It’s been a roller coaster of emotions lately. My dear Papa caught Covid-19 about two weeks ago back in Belgium, making the whole family worry sick. It seems like he’s finally out of danger though, slowly recovering. I miss home and my family so much 💕 I’ve never felt so far away from them as I have in the last couple of weeks. On top of that, Ryan has had to say goodbye for good to his beautiful granddad, from afar, away from family, as all travels have been banned. Though times my friends, so please STAY HOME, just like everyone says on the radio and TV. That will save lives. That will prevent you from worrying sick about your loved ones. That will prevent you from being physically apart from family for many many months. Kia kaha.
11.02.2017 - (for yesterday! ) Happy wedding anniversary to my awesome husband who always brings the best in me, carries the heavy bag on hikes, snorkels to offer me a seafood feast, supports me with all my travels, stops me when I go a wee bit mad and who goes out of his way to make me happy. Always. You’re the best ❤️
A state of emergency was declared for Southland due to heavy rain. 2,500 people were evacuated from their home in Gore. During that time, we were innocently cruising down to the Catlins, witnessing worrying water levels, landslides and flooded roads. I believe most of the roads we travelled on closed soon after us. When the day came to leave, we realised how lucky we had been. Almost all the roads out of The Catlins were closed. After a long journey through roads the rental car company would not agree with, we finally made it to our next adventure. Phew 😅
Brunch with @laurenoliveh is always a good idea ❤️
Already missing these two 😍 Got to finally catch up with @gemmasnowdon and talk for hours about everything and nothing. It got me wondering how I have been managing all my life dramas without you in Wellington and in the office in the last 12 months 😂 And, turns out I am a dog person now. Foxtrot, the @humanitarian_pup , has grown on me 🐶 It must be his fame 😎
I have now left Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, after an incredible week working with @ifrc . Feeling sad to have left - the people I have met along with another million of them are stuck in the camps with little prospect for their future, unable to leave the country as they wish just like I have been able to do. During my time in the camps, I met lovely people, all with extremely difficult stories of fleeing Myanmar and incredibly tough living conditions in Bangladesh. The media (especially in NZ ) are no longer talking about these 1 million people stuck in these overly crowded camps. But we can’t forget them. Consider donating to your local Red Cross or Red Crescent to support the humanitarian efforts in Cox’s Bazar - it does go a long way ❤️
Close to a million people have fled violence from Rakhine State in Myanmar to Bangladesh. I’ve spent my first days in the camps in Cox’s Bazar. The camps are overcrowded, with a population density of 60,000 people per square km. Imagine 75 families living in one Olympic-size swimming pool! It’s pretty heartbreaking... As a communications delegate with @ifrc (International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies ), I am trying to help ensure the world doesn’t forget the scale of this humanitarian crisis and the people caught in it - the mums, the daughters, the grandfathers, the barber, the carpenter. People like you and me, but who were caught in violence and with no other choice than fleeing. I have met incredibly resilient people in the last couple of days. People with dreams, skills and an eagerness to survive in these conditions. These people need our help, money to organisations like Red Cross can go a long way in keeping them safe at night in a strong shelter, access basic medical care, drink potable water, have toilets, learn new skills to make a living or simply have hope. These people mustn’t be forgotten.
I remember very well walking into New Zealand Red Cross’ boardroom for the first time four years ago and seeing this big map of the world. It wasn’t the size that surprised me (although when I say big l mean giant, it covers an entire wall ), but the photos of our international Red Cross delegates meticulously placed over the country they had been deployed to. That day, I told myself “One day, I will be on this map”. Four years later, my lovely colleague sends me this photo as I make may way to Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. It’s a short mission, but something I’ve worked towards for many years. I’m incredibly excited and somehow proud of myself for finally making it on the map ❤️
Happy 30th birthday to my partner in crime, the one who dares doing things I am scared of or totally incapable of doing, like snorkeling in the deep blue, releasing uninvited bumblebees from our bedroom, catching crayfish and paua, patiently listening to my life dramas, supporting my unsual travel/work ideas, building me things (including a house soon ), being kind to others, cheering me up when things are tough, and so much more. Welcome to the old people’s group Ryan 🥳 You’re amazing. Je t’aime ❤️