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What's this blog all about?

Hi, I'm Nicola - welcome to a blog about family travel around the world, without leaving the UK.
I love travel adventures, but to save cash and keep my family's carbon footprint lower, I dreamt up a unique stay-at-home travel experience. So far I've visited 110 countries... without leaving the UK. Join me exploring the next 86! Or have a look at the "countries" you can discover within the UK by scrolling the labels (below right). Here's to happy travel from our doorsteps. See www.nicolabaird.com for info about the seven books I've written, a link to my other blog on thrifty, creative childcare (homemadekids.wordpress.com) or to contact me.

Sunday, 15 June 2008

Tea for Zimbabwe

Pete, Nicola, Lola, 9, and Nell, 6, spent three happy months during summer of 2007 travelling around Britain. Now we’re home, but the travel bug is still there. Join us for the occasional sightseeing plus tips on how to shrink your carbon footprint. This post is from Nicola

My friend Claire showed me a picture of a typical Zimbabwean shop a while ago. It had nothing in it except two packets of monkey nuts. Compare that to a Sainsbury's or Tesco "corner" store. Another Zimbabwe contact told me that he was so excited to see milk in a store that he bought the whole stock – then had to drink the lot in one go (sick making rather than exciting) because the days of power cuts wrecked his fridge.

People tell me that anything helps the communities in Zimbabwe, even at this tense time in the count down to the election run-off. This same contact told me that communities are being ordered to take their satellite dishes down and obliged to hand in their identity cards to buy essentials. These are not returned, which means they will not be able to vote. What did I do? Well I bought this pretty teapot painted by one of the many talented Zimbabwean craftspeople.

I do not need a teapot, and I probably kid myself that buying a teapot for #30 (a lot!) is of any use. But as a donation it comes under generous, and that makes me feel a bit better.

We are so very lucky in the UK to be allowed to vote for who we like without fear.

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