Please join me in welcoming home (to England) Natalie Susman of the Jewish Princess Desert Odyssey. Let’s hear how it went.
UPDATE: How You Can Help– The Cost of Simple Happiness
Natalie wants your support in helping Israeli children in need.
“I am hoping to be able to make a difference to those wonderful kids and keep fundraising, and being involved hands on when possible. Please do all you can to see that we get all the help and support to these wonderful children. Just enough for a doughnut or two to two to feed each child would be incredible.”
I think we can do better than that. Let’s say a doughnut for each day of Chanukkah costs 20 shekels total. That’s $5 or about 2.5 British pounds– pretty cheap for making someone’s week a little happier.
Natalie urges, please go to the Jewish Princess website and make a contribution to a child’s life. For more information on the project and on Natalie, see the links below the story.
My Desert Odyssey by Natalie Susman
Well I am home, my nails were broken, my hair and skin were dry, I had a stinking cold and there was not a muscle in my body that did not ache, but you know what, I was and still am on top of the world!
I have successfully completed my desert challenge. Let me give you a little insight as to what this entailed and my motivations.
When we arrived in Israel, we spent time at one of the children’s homes that we were raising money for. We spent Shabbas there and I was ‘twinned’ with Natalie, a 14 year old girl who has been all but abandoned by her parents.
She and the other children were thriving in this loving environment, but they had been let down so many times in their lives that they were detached and wary of being close to anyone. She was my motivation during the challenge.
I shall give you an example of a couple of days that we had to endure in the Negev desert. Before my husband and kids would have had breakfast, I would have risen with the sun (or probably before, as the nights were freezing, the ground hard and the animal noises somewhat scary) and already climbed the desert’s tallest mountain. Of course, what you go up, you must also descend!
The next morning, also before breakfast in the UK, I had abseiled twice down a cliff and again climbed back up. Why twice? I have no idea, but it seemed like a good idea at the time motivated by the children that we were raising funds for. After this abseil, where you literally walk backwards off a cliff, we then drove our off road vehicles to the next challenge, and my heart sunk! There were bicycles!
Don’t worry that I had just abseiled, and climbed mountains, slept under the stars – not funny with the freezing temperatures and roaming animals, ridden camels, driven down mountain steps, changed tires and climbed walls……I was petrified of a bike! I had not ridden for 25 years and I was terrified!
Just think of the children… so I did, and I built my bike (yes, nothing was easy), and off I followed. I was the last one of the group and kept having to stop from nerves, but I cycled 10 miles in the midday heat, and all this was before lunch!
I hope that this gives a little insight as to the challenge of the week. All this and more has given me such motivation to keep fundraising for these children. When we returned to the airport to fly back to the UK, the kids came to wave us off……this was probably the most continuity that Natalie had had from an adult outside of the home for many years.
I shall continue the work and support from here. I wish to thank all those that sponsored me for this fantastic cause. If you wish to sponsor me, please go to the Jewish Desert Princess website and click on my profile (you can see photos of the challenges there too).
Now trying to get some form of normality going and must stop this urge of wanting to sleep out in the garden!
Thanks, Natalie! I loved hearing about your experience helping Emunah support children in need and participating in the Jewish Princess Desert Odyssey. What an amazing adventure.
Tell Me More
I am always wanting to hear more about Jewish volunteering experiences. Please contact me if you plan to participate in such an activity and would like to write about it in The New Jew: Blogging Jewish Philanthropy or if you would like me to write about your organization. My e-mail is mnorton [at] TheNewJew.org.
- The Before: “Participant Natalie Susman on Why She’s So Excited About the Jewish Princess Desert Odyssey”
- “Jewish Princess Desert Odyssey: Raising Money for Children in Need Across Israel”
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- “Israeli Volunteers Wanted: Helping the Elderly, Hospitals, Museum Guides”
- “Top American and Canadian Doctors Donate Time and Expertise to Israel”
- “Fast Fact: Workers Who Earn an Hourly Wage Volunteer Less”
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