2017 was a year of finding the balance between poring my love outward and allowing myself to pore it inward. It was a dance between caring for others and caring for ourselves.
We started the year by hosting a New Years celebrations for Serres Camp in Greece. We organized a caravan of aid to Lesvos during harsh winter conditions.
We visited Syrian families living in Jordan along the border, which brought inspiration to kickstart the #GatherForGoats campaign with LHI.
We traveled to Milan to visit a dear friend, spending our days resting and soaking in the beauty of the country.
I attended a trauma sensitive yoga training in Amman, diving deeper into the teachings. We walked __ miles across Jordan, exploring the rich diversity of the country. We ate copious amounts of hummus, falafel, and fattoush salads.
We visited the homeland of the Yazidis in Northern Iraq, exposing ourselves to the inhumane living conditions of genocide survivors. We purchased and distributed egg laying chickens, roosters, and milk producing goats in Shingal. We purchased hygiene kits and food parcels for survivors of ISIS captivity. We planned a greenhouse project, obtained funding, and purchased flights for a return trip to Iraq. We felt immense disappointment as the political situation in Iraq quickly turned, consequently putting our project on hold.
We strategized the most appropriate way to bring relief to Iraq without endangering ourselves or others. We ended up partnering with LHI and the #LightenUp project to start the #BringLightToIraq campaign, which will provide solar lights to families living without electricity.
We spent the month of August with our families in Arizona and California. We were reunited with my sisters after years of separation. We camped with family on the beach, were able to attend the wedding of close friends, hiked through the redwoods.
I spent my days in Greece sharing yoga and fitness lessons, developing a deeper relationship with the camp residents, and leading a team of 10-15 volunteers. The educational center and women’s space are coming together.
We celebrated our first wedding anniversary. We continue to fall more in love with married life as we ride the ups and downs life brings.
I flew to Lanzarote for ten days of yoga and restoration, taking the time to disconnect. I woke up to yoga each morning, spent my days swimming in the sea, and fell asleep to guided meditation each evening. I reflected on the suffering I had been exposed to for so many consecutive months, and acknowledged the impact it had on me personally.
We spent two months in the US, soaking up the Northern California trees while refilling our pockets. We hiked through the dense forest, cycled along the coast, and continued supporting LHI remotely.
We are incredibly passionate about the work we do with Lifting Hands International, and are grateful to have been collaborating with the grassroots organization to bring relief to the global suffering.
We enter 2018 feeling more inspired than ever. You may donate now to help us continue our efforts: