Tuesday, June 8, 2010

More on Children in Nepal...

Recently I wrote a post on volunteering in Nepal. A number of people expressed an interest in helping out. When I wrote the post I was home in Australia and I wasn't sure the best advice to give people... Two weeks ago I arrived back in Nepal. The children's home I was working at has been facing so many problems; the website crashed and couldn't take donations, the management board had a falling out and decided to split into two separate homes, finance problems, health problems...

I have been totally disillusioned. I didn't have enough money to solve the financial problems of two orphanages. I am a student. I have very limited resources and no experience working with children. I suddenly had two organisations asking me for financial and child welfare guidance. It was a major head fuck. I mean I am the kind of person who is too irresponsible to keep a houseplant alive.

I was ready to bail. I wanted out. It was too big. And then I went on an over night trip and saw some children from the village. They have nothing. They are dirty, sick, hungry, uneducated and at some point all of the children who I have been working with were in this situation. I suddenly realised I've got this. I can't fix everything but I can try to help instead of freaking out.

So for those of you who wanted to donate last time the website is up and running again. Click here to view. I can monitor all the donations and ensure the money goes to the right places. Also it'd be great if some of you could put a link up to the site on your blogs. It helps our google rating which hopefully will help us get some more volunteers.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Sunday, May 16, 2010


I first tried to book a table for two on a Sunday night and the lady on the phone laughed at me. Evenings at MoVida seem to book out well in advance, after lunch there today I can see why.

The food was amazing. We went for a combination of 3 tapas and 3 racions which was enough food for two. I recommend giving the anchovies and tomato sorbet a try. The special today was the venison, usually I don't eat meat but it was delicious.

I don't have any pictures of the food. The restaurant was a little to fancy to pull out my camera without feeling like an idiot. Check out the website for the menu.

Open daily, Noon to late.
1 Hosier Lane, Melbourne, 3000

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The reason I've been busy...

This isn't strictly Melbourne related but it explains my lack of Melbourne related posting. I was away in Nepal volunteering in a small children's home. The trip to Nepal was enough to completely change my ways of thinking but working at the home changed the way i feel. Being around a group of children who want nothing more than your attention and affection (and the occasional candy) breaks your heart.

It was hard. There were days where i cried a lot. It was difficult to know i couldn't fix everything for them. The whole time i was there i kept thinking "i am going back to warm showers, hot meals and a comfortable bed and these children will still be here feeling hungry and cold."

i have been trying to raise enough funds to get all of the children into a private school. i don't mean a school with a fancy pool, computer labs and state of the art gym. i don't even mean a school where they have music or art class. i have simply been trying to arrange them an education at a school where the teachers can read and write in Nepali and have basic teaching skills.

So far i haven't been able to achieve this goal... i'm about $1000 away from them all being able to go to school for a year. Everyone keeps telling me that i should be proud of the money i have raised for them so far but i know nearly getting them into school doesn't help anyone. It doesn't make it easier when our website broke, paypal froze our account and i had to spend a small fortune to register a business name in order to open a bank account.

I keep telling myself not to focus on the problems, just think how good it will be to see them all off to a good school. So after you read this cross your fingers for me. I need all the good thoughts and luck I can muster.

And if you are looking for an international volunteer placement check out the website. All the fees go to supporting the children and it is a locally run organisation. Volunteer in Nepal.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Save Lentil

Lentil as Anything has been a Melbourne institution for as long as I can recall. I remember the last time Kate and I went there and we realised we only had a few dollars between us. At any other restaurant we would have been in trouble but at Lentil as Anything we just slipped our coins in the 'donation' box and we were home free. We promised ourselves next time we would pay twice as much to make up the difference. I guess it is time we made good on our promise.

The Abbotsford Convent are looking to discontinue the lease of Lentil As Anything Community Restaurant in January next year.

This is terrible news. Lentil as Anything provide support and hospitality training for refugees, youth and other members of our community who are struggling to find an opportunity. Lentil are helping to address isolation experienced by new migrants and socially isolated people.

There is a petition here. Or you can drop into one of the Lentil as Anything restaurants and sign there.

Lentil as Anything__ Abbotsford Convent
1 St. Heliers Street,
Abbotsford, Victoria 3067
(03) 9419 6444196444

Lentil as Anything _ St Kilda
41 Blessington St
St Kilda VIC 3182
(03) 9534 5833

Lentil as Anything _ Footscray
233 Barkly Street,
Footscray VIC
Phone: 0424 081 652

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Bit of shameless self-promotion...

So I'm going to do a bit of selfless promotion here...but it's Melbourne related so I think it's allowed?

This is just a little post to announce that my website I have been working on for the last couple of months is FINALLY up!!

I have been working as a jeweller for the last 5 years, and earlier this year I have gone out as my own boss! It been very exciting and rewarding and I am loving every minute.

I specializes in ‘custom-made, one-off pieces’ designed and handmade with a special emphasis on sustainable practices. Having a piece of handmade jewellery made is a pretty exciting and special experience, and I really enjoy working with people to be able to design custom-made piece of their dreams.

Please head over to my website, Kate Shore Jewellery to check it out :)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Organic wines

Picture from Mr. T in DC

Lately I have been trying to eat and drink organic. It can be hard on a limited budget and it can be even harder when you live with someone who struggles to see the benefit of paying an extra 50 cents for free range eggs.

I am trying to introduce the organic concept a step at a time. I thought a good way to get my boyfriend involved would be to start seeking out organic wines. It has become a bit of a game: 'who can find the best wine for the best price'.

It hasn't been an easy game. Our local liquor store only had one and a store clerk who asked "Organic wine? Why would you want that?" A trip to the liquor superstore resulted in three bottles of red.

Then my boyfriend surprised me. He asked if i was interested in carbon offsetting. I wasn't really sure. I had a look around and it isn't easy to find organic wines which also offset their carbon omissions. So i decided to start looking for organic wines which are grown in Victoria. I used organicwine.com.au, an online wine retailer specialising in organic wine, biodynamic wine, preservative free wine.

I have three favourites for you. They are all certified organic and grown in Victoria.

Captains Creek 2008 Moorookyle Chardonnay from Daylesford in the Macedon Ranges (Picture from organicwine.com.au)

The Carlei Green Vineyards / Sergio Bio Organic winery in Yarra Valley, Port Phillip have an organic and vegan friendly Pinot Noir, Chardonay and Sauvignon blanc.

Kangaroo Hills in Daylesford in the Macedon Ranges has a Pinot Grigio which won a Silver medal at the 2009 Australia / New Zealand Wine Show.

I will be in Daylesford in a couple of weeks so a winery trip might be in order. If you know of any other local organic wines. Leave us a comment and we will be only too happy to give them a try!