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16.7.19 THE DAY I MET MY TARGET. Deep thanks go to Ru who clearly wanted the glory for getting me over the finish line. Quite right too. But thank you also to you ALL. It's been overwhelming how supportive everyone has been and I am so very grateful.
14.7.19 My orientation session at the Hands Around the World offices in Monmouth. There were 3 of us at the Orientation - Sam and James are heading to Zambia in 3 weeks. Run by Joanna Hodge, daughter of David Steiner, the founder of HATW, it was an invaluable day considering the challenges we might face, what we should be prepared for (as far as is possible) and interestingly the likelihood of reverse culture shock upon our return. This was something I had already thought of, not least as I shall be returning home in early December when the Christmas mania will be gearing up and the contrast will, I'm certain, be acute. Joanna is a keen linguist and so had us practising some useful phrases, which for me for Rwanda are in Kinyarwandan: Ni meza, nitwa, Anna. I KNOW - get me.
13.7.19 Daniel's 12th birthday, the day before the England men win the Cricket World Cup AND............my final RWANDA parkrun: A for Ashton Court, my home parkrun, with an out and back course. Pretty much the whole of the 1st half of it is a looping route up a loooooooooooooooooooong hill, or "our little hill" as the Volunteers call it. The benefit of this is of course the terrific views pretty much the whole way (as seen in the run report from last Saturday: https://www.parkrun.org.uk/ashton-court/news/2019/07/16/3383/?fbclid=IwAR3yZo6Gs9r7rSdpRBpSODUx1sbYp1eb3o068VCWVdl8AO86xF6bK8-y_L4) and also the truly marvellous overdose of endorphins which hit approx 20 seconds after finishing. Stephen ran it with me - well, 9 minutes quicker but sort of in the vicinity of me - and Catherine and Daniel rootled themselves out of bed to cheer us along which was fantastic. I waved my little Rwanda flag at the many people who cheered my fundraising efforts along the way, having had a heads-up at the pre-run briefing that it was a special run for my fundraising efforts. Some clever wag mentioned on Facebook that it was just as well I wasn't fundraising for The Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe: a fact for which I am certainly grateful.
6.7.19 D for Forest of Dean parkrun and yet another excuse to drive into Wales (we really should just move there). A lush and lucious parkrun entirely through the beech forest with quite a bit of of uneven ground and tree roots to navigate. It all added to the fun. How can these parkruns just keep getting more lovely?
The article about my trip has now appeared in the august St Mary Redcliffe Parish Magazine and I'm very hopeful that the Redder's congregation can get me to (maybe even past?) my target of £2,000. I'm already 93% there thanks to you lovely lot.
29.6.19 N for Newport parkrun in the grounds of the National Trust's Tredegar House. Beautiful run through both parkland and woods. We were very grateful for the latter on a very hot morning. Lovely to be back in Wales again and hurrah for the soft top on my car to make the journeys over the Suspension Bridge particularly lovely.
27.6.19 I've found out more about what we'll be doing in Rwanda and when. We depart on Thursday 31st October and will spend the first week at the Hospital in Mbilizi where we will be repairing ceilings and painting, before going down to Bugarama for the final three weeks where we shall be working at two schools, Muko and Ryankana, on painting and renovation work. There may also be opportunities for teaching English to teachers.
22.6.19 and the loveliest parkrun yet - Ayr. Set in Rozelle Park, the course is entirely through woodland, including a circuit around a pond with a ridiculously picturesque family of swans and 6 cygnets in prime floating position to watch us as we ran past. I ran with my sister, Nay, and right at the start we picked up a lovely new chum, Paul Teague (@PaulTeagueUK), another parkrun tourist. He and I had the loveliest chat all the way round which quite made the thing fly by: parkrun really is the best.
I'm now on course to run my last 3 parkruns - N (Newport), D (Forest of Dean) and A (Ashton Court) - on the next 3 Saturdays, finishing on Daniel's 12th birthday on 13th July with some celebratory fizz at the end, hopefully. Come along to run/cheer/quaff, or indeed all 3 at the same time, if you can...
For those interested in the work HATW is carrying out in Rwanda, and which I'll be a part of, check out the link below which sets out their activities from their trip last November: https://rsvpcharitybugarama.wordpress.com/2018/11/24/hands-around-the-world-back-in-rwanda/?fbclid=IwAR0tg8015Tgsps2vpr_oGO9m51KxVLOYV3BNQFkO7jj_UgnJtXjWXnm2_H8
14.6.19 I have just received the latest newsletter from the Rwanda part of Hands Around the World - here is a link to their webpages which describe the work they did in their November trip last year and which will be very similar to what we will be doing this November: https://rsvpcharitybugarama.wordpress.com/2018/11/24/hands-around-the-world-back-in-rwanda/
Saturday 8th June - W for Winchester parkrun. A lovely looping run around North Walls Recreation Ground in Winchester followed by coffee and cinnamon buns with our good friends the Polleys. Time 29:24 and 7th in my age category (25-30, since you're asking...). Always happy to be below 30 mins and in the Top 10.
I have now started on the Immunisations Express - our beloved NHS jabbed me twice in one arm and once in 'tother for free, bless 'em. ££ ones start in July.
Saturday 18th May - Rogiet parkrun: now the Bristol 10k is done I'm cracking on with my Parkruns to Spell Rwanda efforts. So, R - Rogiet is a really lovely country park parkrun just across into Wales. Stephen and I ran it together and I was chuffed to bits to be 8th woman and 1st in my age category. Time 29:08. Admittedly, it was a field of only 108 but still...
Winchester is the next one up in early June.
Bristol 10k on Sunday 5th May 2019: a beautiful sunny day and a wonderful crowd to cheer us on our way. Slightly deflated that I had no family support on the day, BUT my chum Sarah, who ran with me, DID cheer me along the whole way round and I was very chuffed indeed to come in at 1:03:18 - far better than I had expected.
Thank you SO much to everyone whose lovely donations just before and after the 10k were such a boost; it's a cliche, I know but they really did speed me round.
Right, the Spelling-out-RWANDA parkrun organisation is coming along nicely:
R - Rogiet parkrun 18th May COMPLETED
W - Winchester parkrun 8th June COMPLETED
A - Ayr parkrun 22nd June COMPLETED
N - Newport parkrun, 29th June COMPLETED
D - Forest of Dean parkrun 6th July COMPLETED
A - Ashton Court, my home parkrun, 13th July
Also, in the post today came my Hands Around the World Volunteer Handbook with all sorts of useful information and many forms to complete and return. As well as being DBS-ed up to the eyeballs and pre-orientated etc, I'll obviously need to be immunised unto a quite stellar degree. That may be the least fun part.
This morning my race number came for the Bristol 10k.
Just under 3 weeks to go.
In November I shall be travelling to the south west of Rwanda for a month in order to volunteer in a number of schools. These schools are supported by an organisation called Hands Around the World, a charity for vulnerable children: http://hatw.org.uk/
Obviously, this is terribly exciting for me - my first trip to Africa. But I'm also hoping to Add Value, as the management speak in my office goes. This means that as well as painting school walls/maybe do a bit of teaching/definitely do a lot of playing, we need to be spending money locally and supporting local businesses, for example, by purchasing school books, desks, sports equipment etc in the local area. Rwandans are keen further to develop their own economy and HATW is doing all it can to support this.
We are planning a construction project, building classrooms so that more children can access secondary education. Volunteers will be involved in helping to renovate classrooms, mainly through painting, working alongside local people - and teaching English.
Whilst I am funding my own trip and expenses, I would love it if my family and friends (family, by another name, bless you all) would also like to join in supporting this fabulous endeavour. The extra money we raise through fundraising will be matched by Jersey Overseas Aid and will contribute to buying painting materials as well as new doors, and window frames.
At the moment, I've not a clue what I will do to deserve this fund-raising effort. Maybe buy you coffee? Or it may simply be running a couple of 10ks, although I do quietly have the crazy idea of running 6 parkruns around the country to spell R-W-A-N-D-A, if I can logistically pull it off. Who knows?
Anyway, you know what to do....
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- 6 months ago
Anna Brooke6 months ago
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- 6 months ago
Anna Brooke6 months ago
1st target is Bristol 10k on 5th May. My first 10k. Seemingly everyone else in Bristol has done/is doing it. My turn.
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Sep 1, 2019
Have an amazing time and keep running 😉
Jul 16, 2019
Go for it Anna!
Jul 15, 2019
Nearly there, very proud to know you! xx
Jul 8, 2019
Jul 6, 2019
Heh,Last Park Run next week! Well done Anna.
Jun 18, 2019
Best of luck lovely lady. Much love.
Jun 12, 2019
Thank-you for the high sleeper... it’s given us some very peaceful bedtimes! Best of luck with your park runs x
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Travelling to Rwanda later in November and December this year to work in schools supported by Hands Around the World. I'd love it if you feel able to support our efforts. You're FAB.