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I’m Raising Money for Camfed!

What is Camfed?

Camfed is the Campaign for Female Education, which is an international non-profit organization tackling poverty and inequality by supporting marginalized girls to go to school and succeed, and empowering young women to step up as leaders of change.

Camfed works in Zimbabwe, Ghana, Zambia, Tanzania and Malawi and has already benefited the lives of millions of girls and young women.

Why should you donate?

Mainly because it’s an amazing cause, but I’m also proud to say that I’ll be representing Camfed at the Royal Parks Half Marathon on Sunday 8th October. Not only that, I’m going to run 1km for every £1 that’s donated! The target is £400 (and I think we can raise more) so that’s a lot of running!

How can you donate?

Follow this link to my sponsorship page to donate.

Want to know more?

Check out Camfed’s website, which is full of truly inspiring stories. They also have some great videos on their YouTube page.

You can also follow my training on Strava and I’ll try to keep the blog updated with my progress. 34 days to go!

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Photograph 100 sunrises and 100 sunsets

This is part of my 40 Before 40 Challenge.


I’ve been getting more into photography over the last year or two – not in a serious way, just taking more care when taking photos and actively trying to look for photo opportunities. Starting this blog helped actually because I needed images to complement my weekly updates from Bolivia. And obviously visiting some incredible places has helped too!

One thing I’ve learnt is that I’m a sucker for sunrise and sunset. I often make a special effort to seek them out when I’m on holiday, getting up at stupid o’clock and even running somewhere to get a good view. I suppose it’s understandable not to do this so much at “home”, especially when you’re (typically) in a full-time working routine, but I’ve tried to do better this year.

Which brings me to my challenge: I want 100 sunrises and 100 sunsets. I’ve got 8 years (roughly 100 months) to get some good ones and I have some in the bank already – I’ll do an inventory soon and maybe set up some sort of gallery.

Learn to ride a bike with no hands

This is part of my 40 Before 40 Challenge.


I’m not entirely sure what % of people can do this, but plenty of people are shocked when they find out that my sister and I can’t ride a bike with no hands. I think most who can do it usually learned when they were kids, which makes it more surprising to hear we can’t. To be honest, I can’t really remember ever trying.

Anyway, I’ve recently bought a bike (the only way to travel in Cambridge), so that feels like half the battle. Also, the nonchalance of some cyclists while doing this makes me think it shouldn’t be too hard to get the hang of, but who knows.

On a sort of related note, check out this Smarter Every Day video about riding a “backwards bike”:

 

Super-fast Zip Line

This is part of my 40 Before 40 Challenge.


I went zip lining in Mexico last year and it was ok, but the longest one was a couple of hundred metres and we didn’t really pick up much speed. That same week I was told about some more extreme versions that are either very long (over a mile) or very fast (over 100mph) – or even both!

So that’s when zip lining went on my list. I heard about one in Northern Mexico, another in continental Europe, but at the moment I’ve got my eye on this one in Wales:

Let me know if you want to do it with me!

I’ve got to run faster!

This is part of my 40 Before 40 Challenge.


I enjoy running and setting PB’s so this was always going to be on my list. It’s hard to know where to set my targets though. This is what I’ve come up with at the moment:

Distance Target Current PB
1k 3 minutes 3:17
5k / Parkrun 19 minutes 20:02
10k 40 minutes 42:01
Half-marathon 1 hour 35 minutes 1:45:01
Marathon 4 hours 4:38:23

I’ve been running more this year than ever before, but mostly shorter distances including a few parkruns. I’ve recently entered my first proper event since 2012: the Royal Parks Half-Marathon on Sunday 8th October 2017. I don’t expect to get close to my target time, but there will be plenty more opportunities where I can put in a bit more long-distance training.

I’m representing Camfed in that event and I’ve decided (possibly foolishly) to extend my fundraising beyond the half-marathon, by saying that I’ll run 1km for every £1 donated! That should keep me busy through the winter! You can keep an eye on my progress by looking at my Strava profile.

StoryCorps

I’ve just discovered StoryCorps and I think it’s great! It has a website and a podcast – here’s a quick video to explain the concept:

StoryCorps’ mission is to preserve and share humanity’s stories in order to build connections between people and create a more just and compassionate world.”

It was actually this TED talk that pointed me in the direction of the podcast:

The podcast episodes themselves are very genuine, often thought-provoking and I’m not ashamed to say there are some real tearjerkers in there! Try these stories to get you started: Story 1Story 2, Story 3 and let me know what you think!

Ecosia

Ecosia.org operates as a search engine like any other, but with the added bonus that it plants trees with its ad revenue.

I switched a few months ago and it tells me that I’ve performed enough searches to plant 15 trees. That might not sound a lot, but their site boasts that they’ve planted 13.7 million trees! That’s up from 10 million in June, so that count is rising fast!

It takes zero effort and there’s no downside, so why not switch your default search engine to Ecosia today.

Go to the airport and take the next flight

This is part of my 40 Before 40 Challenge.


This is a fun one, no preparation required.

I’m not actually sure how you go about buying tickets at an airport, never mind to an unspecified destination, but my sister did it as part of her 30 Before 30 list so it must be possible (she ended up flying first class to Bulgaria).

I’ve not decided what conditions to put on this challenge yet, such as cost and length of flight (I don’t want to fly to Australia for a weekend!) or whether I should limit it to places I’ve never visited before (probably not).

I might even add in some Yes Man type stuff where I just go along with whatever people suggest I should do when I get there.