Friday, March 20, 2009

The trip of a lifetime

Well I have been a little slack about keeping the blog updated - been a bit busy of late - conference in my home town - more on that later - and of course getting everything organised for my trip of a lifetime!!!

Next Wednesday I am off, leaving on a jet plane to head to California to attend the Cochlear Americas Celebration. But perhaps most exciting of all, I am getting to meet Dee.

It is a long and complicated story, often times people think we are all just a little strange when we tell it. In fact someone asked just recently who Dee was on my facebook page and she replied it was kind of complicated we were part of a gang but a really nice friendly gang hahahaha

Back in 1998 Karen B & I started CI Circle. We started it so that parents could get information about cochlear implants for their children but without being judged by others for considering this option. When it started we had 8 people, now we have over 1700 members!

When CI Circle got too big we missed the "chats" the original 8 had so we set up a group on our respective computer email programs and nicknamed ourselves "the gang". Over the last 11 years we have been corresponding with each other sharing stories, good days, bad days and everything in between.

In fact in April of 1998 we put together a little book with a page about our families and photos and one child of the families designed a cover for us and everything, then we had it printed and bound, so we could all "meet" from our different parts of the world.

In August of 2002, Mike, Dee's son was in Australia for a study tour, so we flew him to SA and he attended a Parents of the Hearing Impaired of SA (PHISA) camp with us. It was brilliant meeting Mike and having him come on camp with us and then stay a few days with us. A was pretty stoked to have Mike in the house so there were two people with implants staying at our place.

Up until now Mike's mum, Dee, and I have never met. Then early this year this amazing lady made me the most generous offer. She was using her frequent flyer points to fly me to the conference so that I could stay with her and then do some sightseeing with her in her hometown as well! I am still pinching myself at the generosity she has shown me and I am just about busting with excitement that we are going to meet in a matter of days now!

Then I get an invitation for a garden tea party, and read on to find out I am the guest of honour, yep I am serious! Her workmates are experts at planning these things so they have taken it on so Dee and I can just sit and enjoy ourselves in her garden and she can introduce me to the family and friends that are special to her. I have never been the guest of honour at a garden tea party before - it is quite overwhelming.

So on Wednesday I hit the skies for my flight to the otherside of the world (14 & 1/2 hours for one of the flights!!) I haven't left yet and already it is the trip of a lifetime. I can't wait to see what awaits when I get there. To meet Dee and her family/friends, to meet some of the CI Circle families whose emails I read quite regularly on the circle, to see Rachel again - it seems so long ago since she was here with us in December last year. It is going to be a jam packed week over there and I am so excited I am like the child waiting for Christmas....


Jodi Cutler Del Dottore said...

I am so excited for you. Good things should happen to good people, you so deserve it. You should only know how many people you have helped throughout the years...including me. I love you and am only sad I won't be there to meet you in person, too. But I am SO excited for the rest of them. You are a remarkable woman, enjoy every single minute...

Naomi said...

oh shucks thanks - hmmm I think I only gave you a gentle nudge, you have done the rest big time - look at what you are doing in Italy now!!! Wish you were going to be there too.....maybe I need to aim for the UNHS in 2010 as part of GPOD. I am meeting Anne in May when she comes here for a conference so you never never know.....

Val said...

we want the details!!
jealous in Alabama,

Kath Lockett said...

You're tagged, baby -

Jack said...

I like that first picture..great picture..nice blog..

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