So here I am, back in the UK. After what felt like a very long journey over the weekend, during which I managed to lose my glasses and my train tickets, I am home again. It has been an incredible week, and I have plenty more stories to share yet, but I fear it is that time, after someone you knows comes back from abroad, where you have to sit through a slide show. The beauty of this one is that I’m not actually in your house (unless you are Boyfriend or one of my children) and so if you skip to the end I’ll never know. It would be polite not to though. Just saying. Best get comfy…

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Do you remember the famine in Ethiopia in 1984? I was six at the time, but I remember seeing the coverage on the television. I remember too that my Auntie Jill bought me the Band Aid single for Christmas. What I don’t remember though is being able to connect the images I saw on the screen with actual people. The people dying were a thing, a concept, rather than individuals. At six years old exactly how would you get your head round it otherwise? Of course the problem was that they were real people. On Wednesday we drove around 350km north of Addis Ababa to the Antsokia Valley, where in 1984 around 15-20 people were dying every day because they didn’t have enough to eat. Can you even begin to…

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This is one of my favourite pictures of the trip so far. It really captures the things I am growing to love about Ethiopia already – the colours, the smiling faces and the warm welcome we receive everywhere we go. Yes we stick out like a bit of a sore thumb, but whereas in some places this might make you feel uncomfortable, here it makes you feel special – everyone really does want to be your friend. Picture by Kayla Robertson, World Vision. Follow me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for more photos and updates.

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If I had a pound for every time I had used the word ‘amazing’ today I would be a rich woman, especially by Ethiopian standards. I actually used it twice in a tweet earlier today, which isn’t very clever, but the people I have met today really are amazing, so I make no excuses for the word.* Today we went to visit an amazing** food project that has been supported by World Vision. The project is made up of around half a dozen women, all of whom were facing significant challenges when they started the group four years ago, including living with HIV and struggling as single parents to provide for their children on their own. One thing they shared though was ambition – a determination to makes their lives…

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While I’m entertaining you with stories, please don’t forget the reason behind the trip – to raise awareness of the Enough Food IF campaign. There is enough food for everyone in the world if we share and use it wisely. Fact. We took this gorgeous picture this week, and it would be brilliant if you could share it and help let as many people as possible know about what we are doing. Thank you! Find out more about the campaign here.

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Living in one room with five other members of your family may not seem like exactly the lap of luxury, but when ten years ago you and your children were living at the side of the road under a plastic sheet, it’s actually something to get pretty excited about. Hannah lives in Lideta with her husband, who is HIV positive, her three children, her niece and her grandson. With the support of World Vision, she purchased a washing machine to set up her own laundry business, and now takes in washing from her community. This is the family’s only source of income. Despite having so little, Hannah is keen to share. She welcomes us into her home quite literally with open arms and enthuses about the support she has received…

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We stepped off the plane at 6.30am Ethiopian time this morning after what couldn’t really be described as the most comfortable of flights. Think Ryanair, but for seven hours. Then pick a seat against a wall that can’t recline. Chuck in pastries and tea at 2am and the worst film in the world being shown on a tiny screen, miles away down the aisle. Oh and then ask the chattiest man in Cameroon to sit down next to you. That’s all nothing though is it? So I was a bit uncomfortable for a few hours. First world problems as Bee would say, and quite literally in this case compared with some of the challenges faced every day on Ethiopia. I feel a little bit pathetic complaining about eating and strange…

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After a week of cacking my pants, and recurring dreams of not being able to find clean water and eating multiple bags of maltesers without washing my hands, I have woken up this morning totally wired and ready to go. I’ve been waiting all week for my passport, not really fully ready to let myself believe it is happening, so when it finally arrived last night it was the final piece falling into place. Today then is about packing, preparing everything at home for the week, and dashing out to Tesco at the last minute for all the essentials I’ve inevitably forgotten about. I’ll be getting the train from Bristol at 3pm to Heathrow and by 8pm this evening I’ll be on the plane, ready to take off on my adventure. Packing…

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….Actual Ethiopia. Not just some trendy Bristol cafe that sells exotic meats – the actual country. I’m going on Saturday as a guest of World Vision, to raise awareness of the Enough Food for Everyone IF campaign and I will visiting all kinds of amazing people and projects, seeing first hand what World Vision have been doing to help Ethiopia develop over the last 30 years. I will be honest though and say I have mixed feelings about it at the moment. Let’s put it into a little bit of context. It would be fair to say that I’ve led a pretty sheltered life when it comes to other countries and cultures. We never went on family holidays abroad as children, and my only flirtations with foreign travel were school…

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This week for #CharityTuesday I’m featuring HOPE International Development Agency UK. As you know, I went to Ethiopia a couple of years ago, and so development in Ethiopia is a cause very close to my heart. Please read about the work of HOPE International Development Agency UK and support them in any way you can. So, what’s the problem? Water is precious but unfortunately nearly 1 billion people in the world do not have access to clean water. Without clean water, people have to source water from unprotected sources – streams, lakes, ponds – which can lead to disease and sometimes death. As a result, every 90 seconds a child dies from water-related disease which could be prevented if clean, safe water were available. In addition, because in Africa women and girls…

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As you may know, a couple of years ago I visited Ethiopia with World Vision, and ever since I have sponsored a child there – Eyerus. If you can’t commit to child sponsorship, you can support World Vision with one off donations too. So, what’s the problem? Poverty, conflict and disaster leave millions of children living in fear. Fear of hunger and disease. Fear of violence, conflict and exploitation. Fear that robs them of a childhood. How does your organisation set out to solve it? What makes your approach unique? Our local staff work in thousands of communities across the world to free children from fear. We live and work alongside children and their families to help change the world they live in for good. Our worldwide presence means we’re…

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Today my blog is five years old. Can you even believe it? In internet years that makes it about 27. Five years ago today* I was living in Bridgwater, a single mummy to a 14 and a 7 year old, having recently quit a full-time job I hated to work for myself. It was pretty scary but I had a desk I had bought on ebay for ten pounds and a nice little office space at home, so as far as I was concerned I was good to go. Who needs relevant experience or qualifications when you have a nice white desk and a wall full of inspirational postcards? A lot has happened in the last five years including three house moves, one child leaving home, becoming gay and changing…

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