My 5 favourite photos from visiting my World Vision sponsor child Nepal

It’s hard to choose, but these are the five top photos that I posted to friends and family from my day with Kamala, my World Vision sponsor child. I sponsored her with my mother for 5 years and to meet her was a dream. Seeing her school, looking into her eyes and hearing about her life was just incredible. We also got to see projects in the community and learn how World Vision has made a difference here.

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The moment I realised I was meeting Kamala, my #sponsorchild through@worldvisionaus. Her mother began to cry as her little daughter stood between us. So much emotion.

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A special moment with Kamala. It’s hard to connect sometimes when there are so many people and it can be so intimidating for the #sponsorchild. After some time sitting together, we started to make faces & I saw her relax and feel comfortable. I loved this moment. I said in “Nepali” are you ok!? Tik sa? She said “Tik sa.” I’m ok.

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The incredible elders of Kamala my @worldvisionaus #sponsorchild watch over our meeting together. Their smiles meant the world to me.

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My final moment with Kamala at #kailaliADP #worldvisionnepal@worldvisionaus we hugged and looked in each other’s eyes and smiled.

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My Darling Kamala and her little brother ran after the car until they couldn’t keep up. @worldvisionaus #sponsorchild visit. They then waved until the car was out of sight.

You can experience what it’s like to help those in communities such as this by sponsoring a child:

Learn more about how Sponsorship works here:

Follow my journey with World Vision Australia in Nepal on a number of channels:

#tag: #WVAbloggers

Instagram: @Lovellyem

Twitter: @Lovellyinc

Blog: www.travellerem.com

Facebook. www.facebook.com/lovellycommunications

What’s the other reason I’m in Nepal?

I’m climbing to Everest Base Camp on March 7, 2015. Sponsor me and support the work of World Vision Australia: https://everest2015.everydayhero.com/au/emma-takes-on-the-best-trek-everest. You can follow our adventure on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram with the hash tag #everestbasecamptrek2015 and by following @inspiredadvntrs on Twitter and the blog here.

Travelling lighter in the future – WE DON’T NEED STUFF! My Vow for 2015

Packing up my life today has been an enlightening experience.

I’m quite disgusted at the amount of items I have accumulated over 3 years and the amount of “baggage” I have.

I make this vow- I will not buy any new items of clothing, accessories or shoe wear until 2015.

I ask that anyone wishing to give me gifts this year opts to make a donation for incredible charities such as World Vision Australia or Black Dog Institute.

I have a big goal I’m saving towards and would rather invest in the only thing that will make me richer, Travel.

Please friends – hold me to this vow, I feel passionately about it and look forward to carrying less baggage in the future.

Sincerely,
Citizen of the World
Emma Lovell

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This picture was taken in 2008, Arusha, Tanzania. Visiting my Sponsor Child with World Vision Australia – The best day of my life by far, and has given me a new perspective forever! I will always think of him as aim to live more minimally and focus on the important aspects in life. 

Farewell to my Lazaro

I have written the following piece for World Vision about my little sponsor child Lazaro. World Vision have completed the project in his community and they are now leaving. This is such a sad time but such a truly great time for him.

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My name is Emma Lovell and I have been a Sponsor parent for approximately 6 years. I had always wanted to sponsor a child and kept saying “when i’m older, when I have more money, when mum and dad will agree to it.” There will always be a reason that you can’t do something, until oneday I realised that my tips alone for 2 nights at my waitressing job could cover a childs living expenses for a month. My selfish side went out the window and my friends and I jumped on the World Vision website and started searching.

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 My search for a child was very thoughtful, and I was concious of the popularity contest syndrome we have to choose the sweetest looking child or supposedly neediest. Instead I decided to go with a feeling. I knew I wanted to sponsor a young boy, so I could watch him grow, and I knew I wanted to support Africa. Tanzania was the choice and after flicking through a number of photos, I stopped on little Makesen Lerungo Lazaro, a beautiful 6 year old boy with the face of an angel. I know it was over the internet, through a computer screen and just a small photo, but I felt a real connection. This was my boy!

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Lazaro and I have sent many letters to one another over the years and he has not gone without a Christmas card or Birthday card, as well as additional donation, since I started sponsorship. When I received his very first letter thanking me for my sponsorship, giving me Gods blessings and telling me about his family situation, I burst into tears. So much emotion for a child I had never met from a world I could never know. There were 7 people living in a 2 bedroom hut. His mother was just 40 and was a grandmother already. Here I sat, crying in my living room with a plasma TV, car and 4 bedroom house. How could I ever complain about going without or wanting more. Again, worlds apart.

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 It was always my desire and dream to go and visit him and his family. I felt close to him through his letters and thought of him often. His photo has always held pride of place in my bedroom and I am forever talking about him and my experience as a sponsor. Finally in 2008, I had the opportunity, when buying a round the world ticket, to go to Tanzania and visit him. I had to seek approval from World Vision, lock in dates, have a police check and plan all travel arrangements once in country in advance, but it was so worth it.

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The trip nearly ended in disaster as I had so much difficulty getting in contact with the office and had not had confirmation from the team – Luckily, at the 11th hour ,the Australian, Tanzanian and World Vision HQ offices in America helped me and all went well.

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I get so emotional talking about the trip and smile every time I think back to being there. It was the single most amazing experience of my life and I cherish every second I had with my boy. I cannot describe the power of the emotion and intensity of the interaction I had with his parents when they looked me in the eye, and across all language barriers, thanked me for what I was doing for him. This program is saving and changing lives – I will treasure this thought forever.

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When I went to the village, I was told that the program was running well and may finish withing the next 2 years. I decided that I would get back there within, if not exactly to the date, 2 years, so that I could see him again before they moved on. I was informed that once World Vision leaves the area, it is practically impossible for me to go there again. And sadly, for me, that day came just a few weeks ago.

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The letter which explained to me that the settlement was successful and sustainable came as a shock and I was overwhelmed by the information. It’s such a wonderful thing that this village has come so far that they can now manage on their own, but as a sponsor parent, I also thought of the relationship and bond I had developed. Going to the village and seeing the work they do and holding my boy in my arms really intensifies this feeling of sadness and loss. After all, I had known this young boy for half of his life, 6 years, we had grown together. But ultimately, my feelings were selfish. For me to continue sponsoring him means that he is not living at the quality of life which he should and that is not fair. I have to take with me the thoughts that he is now in good care of his family and community and that no matter what, we will always have the memories of our time together and the relationship we had.

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 I still get teary thinking of him. I sent my final farewell card and cried with every word. Goodbye is always the hardest word to say. Lazaro, you are in my thoughts always, as you have been for so many of the past years. I teasure the gift you gave me when I came to visit you and it will continue to have pride of place in my room and my heart. You were an inspiration to me and you put my world in perspective. This world is so much bigger than we can ever imagine, it is so much greater than all of us and you are helping me to understand this.

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I started sponsoring a Nepalese girl one year ago as I also have a close affinity to this country. I look forward to developing a relationship with her and her community and someday soon visiting her in Nepal.

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Thank you World Vision. The magnitude of the work you do can not be put into words. God Bless.

Sponsor a Child- Change lives

 

Thank you www.worldvision.com.au and The Tanzania office. Amazing!

Thank you http://www.worldvision.com.au and The Tanzania office. Amazing!

Going to Tanzania to visit my sponsor child was my primary reason for going to East Africa. Who knew that I would be so mesmerised and completely changed after the visit. Nairobi and Northern Tanzania, Arusha, were like no-where I had ever been before. There is so much room for growth and development- but the people also seem happy and thankful for what they have.

 

 

 

The people I met, the experiences I had, and the encounters with animals have left me yearning for more! I will visit Africa again in 2010 and seek interested people who want to carry a message and a mission!

 

Let yourself experience something completely new and open your eyes to the world of possibilities- and share those possibilities with people of the world.

 

Kenya, Tanzania – 10th – 14th December
 
Well, lets just say this was THE MOST interesting experience of my life. Going to Africa  COMPLETELY alone, with no contacts apart from the tour group I booked it with. I experienced extreme culture shock after my HORRIBLE 5 hour flight on Kenya Airways, and after spending 2 hours or more on the Tarmac, arriving at my hotel to find literally a 2x3m  room, I was not impressed.

 

After the initial panic attack and multiple attempts to contact any damily member I could, I grabbed some dinner. My lovely tour arranger Chris (www.eastafricashuttles.com), who was so welcoming, helped me to get in contact with mum. I was nervous at first but he really made me feel comfortable and assured me that no matter where I was in Africa, they would take care of me. For this reason, I think sometimes it is better to travel alone. Scary at first, but then you get more interaction with locals and you are often able to receive more help.

 

 The next day I caught a very interesting 6 hour bus ride to Arusha Tanzania – It was interesting to say the least, the roads aren’t exactly the best and I wouldn’t call the bus ‘spacious’. But I got to see a lot more of the land this way and many small communities. Look, if anything, it’s an experience!! That’s what I will keep telling myself in any case…

 

 The hotel in Arusha was much better and my lovely new friend Hakim helped me settle in, another great staff member of east Africa shuttles. But I had major panic attacks that night because I couldn’t contact World Vision and I was meant to be seeing my Sponsor child Lazaro the next day – I was devastated and I collapsed into bed that night over it, exhausted and desperately sad.

 

Turns out my panic was FOR NO REASON- All was fantastic!!!! Isack came to get me from my hotel, I got driven to the site in the Shambaraii district, I cried when I met the people in the office, it was the most emotional experience of my life.  (im actually crying now as I write)

 

When I met Lazaro we  both fell to the ground in a bundle of emotion, he was so overwhelmed,. For him, this was a completely one off and first time experience, he had no idea how to act. The whole village came out to meet me and I got to hold this sweet, kind, innocent little boy that I had been sponsoring for 4 years. We were in the middle of the desert and I was in a real MASAI TRIBE.

 

 I cannot express how it feels to have a parent look you in the eye, like Lazaros parents did, and say thank you and know that you have done so much for this persons quality of life.

 

WORLD VISION!! PLEASE EVERYONE; SPONSOR A CHILD TODAY. Its only $40 a month and its the best thing you will ever do!! www.worldvision.com

 

We played soccer with the new ball I gifted to him and the family then cooked me a very special traditional meal. I gave him more gifts and we cried again, and then he gave me gifts for my family. A bracelet and a necklace. We took a tour of the village and I played with the other children. 2 children walked with me at all times on either side holding my hand. The translators and office workers walked with us and explained the community. INCREDIBLE. How many people get to experience this type of culture first hand. It is truly moving.

 

It was so hard to leave him but I know I will be back to see him. HONESTLY THE BEST EXPERIENCE OF MY LIFE and I want to do everything in my power to help. I sat in the car on the way back completely numb- shocked to the core and extremely contemplative. an experience like this makes one feel so small. So helpless. It really puts you in your place and makes you see that there is so much out there that is just so much bigger than us. Bigger than we can ever fathom.
 
Another day in Arusha, just looking at Markets and a night out with Hakim. Then the 6 hour bus again and the fun with visas and immigration to get back into Kenya.

Next I would have  a night and day in Nairobi. I went to Carnivore Restaurant . The most meat you will ever see in your life and the tastiest- including ostrich, turkey, beef and then some weird stuff like crocodile and giblets…. hmmmm.
 
My last day in Africa was so busy!!! I went to the David Sheldrick Elephant orhpanage (where I adopted an elephant), A giraffe sanctuary (where I kissed a giraffe) a crocodile farm ( where I held crocs, watched them feed, patted an angry camel, ran away from ostriches) and then back to the Elephant orphanage to play with my little Kimána and then off to my drivers house.

 

My drivers house was in a little village outside of Nairobi, where I was most definitely the only white person. I got to hold his new born baby and he said this was very special for his lovely wife Ann. I also met his nieces and nephews who liked playing with my hair and looking at my photos. A very unique experience to go to a real African home and simply through chatting with my driver and asking if he would take me there before he had to drive me to the airport. He was so happy and proud to take me there. He was worried that he would not be able to see his relatives and I had ended up having him out longer then it was meant to be. But being so obliging and giving me 110% service he stayed with me, so I said that I would go to his house with him so that he could see his relatives, If he didn’t mind. To see someone smile the way he did was such a great gift! The only sad part… my camera died.

 
Then another 14 hour flight…………………… to LONDON!
 
http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=48882&id=511114236&l=7b55c05ed8– Visiting my sponsor child
http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=1076375&l=a5ea52173f&id=511114236– Kenya

Please Sponsor an Elephant. You then have the opportunity to go visit them in Africa and hold one as I did:

http://www.sheldrickwildlifetrust.org