As you know from my post Being in Her Shoes, I’ve spent the last week walking to raise money for CARE Australia’s annual fundraiser, the Walk In Her Shoes Challenge. I’ve raised over $2000 and walked just over 46 kms. I’ve exceeded both my targets, thanks to lots of very generous people and my very willing legs. To celebrate we are having a rest day.
So where did I walk?
I thought I’d treat you to a few photos of the landmarks I’ve been passing each day. It’s just one of the many blessings in my life that I live near Royal Park. Royal Park is Melbourne’s equivalent to New York’s Central Park. It even has a zoo like Central Park! It’s about 4 km out of the CBD and is close to 181 hectares in size. Not only are there indigenous grasslands, wetlands and an array of native eucalypts, but it is teeming with wildlife and birds. On one of my walks, I heard kookaburras for the first time ever. That was extra special.
Royal Park was set aside by Governor La Trobe in 1845. It was larger then. As can be expected, large open public spaces close to the city are attractive for new infrastructure. It has been chipped away at with the building of the Royal Children’s Hospital, the development of Parkville Gardens and it nearly got shrunk by the proposed East West Link. Ross Straw Field, one of the park’s many ovals was to become a freeway overpass. It’s safe … for now.
Whose shoes was I in?
It’s quite simple really. I was, in a very western and middle class way, trying to emulate the vast amount of walking that women and girls do every day around the world just so they can have the bare essentials of life. While I was walking along carefully structured and maintained paths, they trudge unmade roads, battling dust or mud depending on the weather. I had only myself and my fitbit to carry. They have to lug food and water, enough for not only themselves but also their families. I walked for about an hour each day and then was able to work and study for the remainder of the day. They walk for hours and then have to prepare meals and do chores that benefit the males in their lives. Hopefully, the money raised will go just some way to change this.
But I wasn’t really walking in their shoes. I would think about these incredibly vast differences between my life and theirs as I walked. When I wasn’t trying to use the walk as a mindfulness practice.
A BIG Thank you
The motivation to walk each day, especially on Thursday when I had a mild tummy bug, came from knowing that so many kind and open-hearted people had invested their money in this challenge. When I first registered, I set a fundraising target of $1250. I’m so pleased to say that not only was that exceeded very quickly, we even went in excess of my final target of $2000. Although fundraising remains open until 30 April 2015, I’m not intending to raise it any further. But if you feel so inclined and wish to make a little donation, you can do so here. And rest assured that I will continue to walk daily, even if I’m not officially Walking in Her Shoes. Although I might be again next year …
Be happy. Be well. Just Be.
And so be it.