Goodbye 2017…

Another year passes and so much changes and yet so many things seem the same…

Personally this year has been full of firsts and increasing independence. When you are around young children, time seems to fly as you revel in their firsts…..first steps, first words, first day of school all seem to happen in a blink of an eye. and yet at the end of the year you  feel like you have accomplished nothing…or at least much less than you had hoped for…..

On the global scale things seem bleak, but there are pockets of hope springing up to brighten the gloom.

2017 seemed to be the Year of Tragedy….with Hurricanes, Wildfires, Mass Shootings and Bombings all over the globe. In the face of all these chaotic, heartbreaking events, there has been a silver lining…..seeing all the bystanders, emergency personnel and even the survivors pitching in and helping their fellow person out. Whenever there is a tragedy, you should always look for the helpers…they are there in the background, reaffirming that humanity isn’t doomed while there is still someone there to lend a hand to those who need it. In Houston, during the devasting Hurricane Harvey, Mattress Mack,  opened his furniture stores to feed and house hundreds of people displaced by flooding. Whilst Mattress Mack is largely regarded as hero in his hometown, his actions during Houston’s time of need have placed him on the internet’s front page.

Here at home in Australia, we have continued to see our nation’s farmers suffering from drought. Watching your livestock suffer from lack of feed whilst wondering how you are going to feed your own family is heartbreaking. One man, Brendan ‘Bumpa’ Farrell  stepped up when the Government’s own drought support systems had failed. It all started in 2014 when he heard word of a farmer in Bourke (over 500km/300miles away from him) was struggling to keep his animals fed, Brendan contacted the farmer and offered to donate a load of hay to him. This was the first of what would become many runs all over the country, by what is now called the Burrumbuttock Hay Runners, to help out areas in need. From one man and his truck this movement now encompasses a convoy of over 250 trucks and over 13,500 bales of hay (worth over 6 million dollars AUD and feeding 300,000 animals in need). But the animals aren’t the only ones being fed. The Burrumbuttock Hay Runners also donated truckloads of personal goods, fruit and vegies, pantry items and household essentials to help those stricken with drought. These convoys are not only helping to make sure that Australia’s food producers are able to feed their animals but they are also ensuring they know they are supported and valued by the Australian People, giving them the mental boost needed to carry on during hard times.

Saudi Arabia lifted its ban on women drivers, allowing women to take to the streets for the first time in it’s history. Saudi Arabia was the only country in the world that had a ban on women drivers, women who were caught driving were risking a fine and jail time up until now. This controversial order was issued by King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud with the expected implementation of the order being set for June 2018. Women’s Rights Activists in Saudia Arabia have been calling for the ban on female drivers to be lifted since the 90’s. This decree is part of a larger programme called Vision 2030, being laid out by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, to bring Saudi Arabia in line with the modern world.

These snippets of light from all over the globe have helped to brighten the increasingly dark mood that seemed to infect all of our News Feeds this year. Whilst it would be impossible to pick the most inspiring of these stories, personally the lift on the ban of Female Drivers really touches home for me… you see one of my big personal achievements this year has been to finally (19 years later than most at the ripe old age of 36) get my drivers licence and take to the roads. In today’s age of motoring independence, a non driver in the Australian Outback is a rarity. Whilst conforming to the norm is not usually my thing, this time I am proud to say that I am just like anyone else and can legally drive a car without having to have someone in the passenger seat supervising!!!

Yay to Independence!!!

Goodbye 2017, it’s been real interesting but I can’t wait to see what 2018 brings!

 

 

 

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