Farewell to Gippsland ….

…. and a quick visit to Melbourne, then I’ll be on the road again to Christchurch, NZ.  The time is just flying.

I said a rather sad ‘slan agus beannacht’ to Uncle Jerry just now but we emigrants have tough skins and are used to making our goodbyes quick before they get too emotional.

Unc and I just before we headed off for our Last Lunch together.

Unc and I just before we headed off for our Last Lunch together.

I’ll catch the V-line train to Melbourne early tomorrow morning and look forward to a weekend in the city.  Some of you PH&Ners will know Amara H who is now living and working in Sydney, and the CC&Lers in the crowd as well as the Vancouver-based Irish gang will know Maeve L who also lives and works in Sydney these days.  The two ladies are flying down from Sydney to meet me in Melbourne – how good are they?!  I am so excited!  And am looking forward to catch up over a glass or two of vino, dinners and brunches in Melbourne’s vibrant goodie scene, and anything else that catches our fancy.  I’ll try to load a photo of us in the next few days, I promise,

Sunday sees me heading for Christchurch NZ to visit an Irish friend Anne Marie and her family.  Last time I spent time with AMB was on Bowen Island, when she and Lyndon (her hubbie) stopped off for a visit while emigrating to New Zealand.  It’s over 10 years and the birth of their two sons later, so we have a lot of catching up to do!

About Kate Coffey

After 30 or so years in the investment management industry, 2013 saw me turn my life up-side-down, making my way first to Nepal, then Bangladesh during that first ‘year away’. The year took me on a journey I did not expect, had me fall in love with Nepal and its people, and become inspired at the work of Spinal Injury Rehabilitation Centre (SIRC) located in Bhainsepati - 2 hours east of Kathmandu in the Saanga foothills. Since 2014, I have returned to SIRC numerous times, working closely with the folks there in the aftermath of the 2015 earthquakes. In Bangladesh I marvelled at the strength and resilience of marginalized women who have the courage and audacity to break the rules and make a better life for themselves and their children through microfinance programs with BRAC. 2016-2017 saw me embark on a totally new experience in Sri Lanka, a place I never would have chosen to end up in. It’s the 40C+ heat, big humidity and tropical snakes & animals that scared me! But I ended up love love loving! my time there, working with predominantly Tamil small business owners in remote villages in north and east of the country, trying their best to recover their businesses and the lives of their employees, after decades of a civil war. My time in Sri Lanka made me realize my hard-earned business skills and experience can really be put to good use! The work the BIZ+ team and I did there ended up earning me International Volunteer of the Year Award in December 2017, presented on Capitol Hill, Washington DC no less. I am currently home on Bowen Island, in the west coast of Canada, shoring up my finances before I head off to who knows where, for my next expert volunteer assignment. This blog initially started out as a travelogue of sorts to keep friends and family worldwide updated while I was off on my travels in 2013-2014. Since then it has morphed into a life story of the many places I have lived and worked and of the wonderful people I have met along the way. I hope you enjoy.
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