A New Year is dawning

2016 was one helluva ride with it’s fair share of highs and lows.

I’m not going to get political but it’s pretty clear the people of the world are deeply unhappy with how their governments and leaders are managing their country’s affairs, and have shown this discontent at the polls.  All I can say is, it’s gonna be a rocky road for the next few years, hang on tight!

2016 was a year of personal loss with the death of our Mother early on in the year and later, the passing of our Auntie Ann and Uncle Bertie.  My friend Maria met with a fatal accident just before I left for Nepal, and throughout the year, many friends have lost parents, siblings, husbands and friends, some quite unexpectedly.  So much loss to bear, it can be so fracturing …. but you know, it can also be a time for renewal if you allow it to be.

What I found astonishing at my mother’s funeral, was how many people from the past and present, gathered to happily share wonderful memories of her, and tell tales of adventure and foolery, often with much hilarity ….. and I was reminded again that Life is for being with those we love,  for following our dreams and for living life to the fullest.  Right Here and Now.  

No time to waste people!

Personally, I’ve had a remarkable 2016 …. welcoming my beautiful niece Mai to our family: hanging with marvelous friends in all parts of the world; doing stimulating work with smart and intelligent people the world over and getting the chance to experience what it is to live in the tropics here in stunning Sri Lanka.

I couldn’t have asked for anything more really.

And as 2017 is just hours away, I wish each and every one of you much joy and laughter, good health and a whole lot of love for the year to come.

And if I may, there’s one thing I ask of you – show a gentle kindness to your fellow (wo)man in 2017, and the world will surely be a better place for it.

I know, I’m forever the optimist!


Athbhliain faoi mhaise dhuit

(Gaeilge for Happy New Year!)

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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8 Responses to A New Year is dawning

  1. Bill G says:

    Hi, Kate: Thank you very much for your inspirational message, and loving words for the world and mankind (personkind?). I wish you the very best for 2017, and also wish that you could hurry back to Bowen – I miss you and your wonderful presence in our neighbourhood very much. Much love to you, and take good care in your travels and excellent work. Much love to you, Bill

    On Sat, Dec 31, 2016 at 6:18 AM, Bowen to Bangladesh wrote:

    > Kate Coffey posted: “2016 was one helluva ride with it’s fair share of > highs and lows. I’m not going to get political but it’s pretty clear the > people of the world are deeply unhappy with how their governments and > leaders are managing their country’s affairs, and have show” >

  2. Lyndsey Jennings says:

    Jan and I are wishing you all you wish yourself and more! Looking forward to reading of your 2017 adventures… hugs and love… L & J

  3. Thanks for the ongoing blog Kate. I hope 2017 will be a year of love, kindness and peace. Who knows where the year will bring us. Best.

  4. radchef says:

    I am in HSB now from my 12 days outside Merritt at the Vipassana retreat Center.
    Wow what an awe inspiring time thanks to Mr. Goenka’s wisdom, stories, and humor.
    Start again ;).with wonder and wisdom Kate on your 2017 journey planet earth. xo

    • Kate Coffey says:

      Becky – I wondered how it was going for you!! It’s a heck of a lot to take in and process, and to figure out what you will do with all you learned, but it will be an awesome ride!! Much love

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