Our journey starts tomorrow!

by sandy on March 15, 2010

Although, as for everyone in all their journeys, it started years ago in loops and turns that could never have been predicted. The McDonald family, Roger and Sandy (that’s me), our two daughters, Kalai and Cressida, their partners, Glenn and Sunny and my mother, Zanny will get up at the bewitching hour, 3.30am tomorrow morning to fly to South Africa from our home, here in Melbourne, Australia.

It is epic enough for any family to travel en masse from one continent to another. But we are adding to this journey, beyond a family reunion planned for three years, another dimension.

We are going to witness, first hand, the work of a world wide community whose sole aim is to make a difference in an orphans’ life. We will meet some inspiring people who have joined with us in this quest, and volunteered their time, Lindiwe, Wandile and Oliver among them. And we will help Ronda, Peter and Erin, my aunt, uncle and cousin to continue this work. And then we will be introduced to some of these many million children.

When I put up the first page of knit-a-square.com, late in 2008, (a knitting for charity website) in response to Ronda’s story about handing out blankets to young children, alone and cold in Johannesburg, truly we none of us had any idea about the extent of this situation. No idea about the response we would receive and no idea about the deviation our lives were about to take.

Five days ago, we completed the packing up of our business office of the previous 11 years and moved home to the upstairs room we had used as an office up to 1999.

There was something cathartic for this family, about packing up, clearing out, closing down, consolidating, scaling back and preparing for the future while simultaneously preparing for this voyage.

While our future may be uncertain, I am sure that meeting with these children will put that firmly into perspective.

All of us will contribute to this travel diary along the way, and while we can’t pack you up and take you with us, this is a great way to share the some of Africa with you. First stop, Kruger National Park (the holiday part!)

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Jana March 17, 2010 at 09:08

I wish you a SAFE trip!

Bev March 17, 2010 at 09:28

Hope that you have a really fantastic trip. You have chosen the right time of the year to visit the Kruger National Park.

I had a look at the marvelous work that you are doing and have mentioned this to a few of the charity groups that I am involved in

I do a lot of charity work here in SA and will be relocating to Sydney later this year where I hope to be able to contribute to charity groups in that area


Elizabeth March 17, 2010 at 11:32

Best wishes and safe travels McDonald family. We can’t wait to hear your stories about all ‘our’ children and the SA operation. Enjoy your very well deserved holiday first though!

trish March 17, 2010 at 11:40

We wish you a truly wonderful, and very well earned rest and holiday. Enjoy every minute of the Kruger experience, being back in Africa and all the joys that that will bring you.

Its an amazing thing you have done with KAS Care and it will be inspiring to meet and see for your selves all the wonderful people involved. It started with you my Sandy. Well done.

melissa langer March 17, 2010 at 12:37

hi sandy and family!
oh have a wonderful and safe journey!
i cannot wait to follow your posts. thank you for taking us along and for all that you do!
melissa and emmitt

Tracie March 17, 2010 at 13:18

I am so excited to be able to go with you (even through a computer screen!)

Christine Garrison March 17, 2010 at 13:40

Have a safe and wonderful trip. I am new to knit a square this year. This has been so inspiring to be able to help children so far away from San Bernardino, Ca. I have passed the word around and have friends and cousins donating from as far away as Sterling Alaska.
Looking forward to the warm and wonderful ways your family has touched so many hearts. The stories, are truly touching the hearts of many people around the world.

Kathy March 17, 2010 at 13:40

Best of luck and have a wonderful trip! I am soooo jealous, I wish I was there with you, but will be in my heart. Hope you see the Big Five in Krueger!

Angela Garlant March 17, 2010 at 13:53

Bon Voyage

Have a very safe journey and enjoy your stay in South Africa.
Looking forward to hearing lots of first-hand news.

My love and best wishes to everyone in SA involved with KAS, and to the children in particular, lots of love and hugs.

Angela xxxxxx

Lynne Emery March 17, 2010 at 15:03


Thank you for such a vivid picture of the journey to date. My thoughts and prayers are with you as always.

Be Blessed!


Becka Westcott March 17, 2010 at 15:18

Thank you so much for doing this. I am looking forward to sharing your journey. Have a safe flight and I hope some R & R for all of you who have worked so hard on your end to make KAS such a huge success and allowed all of us from around the world to make a difference in these children’s lives. Blessings and joy, Becka

Rachel March 17, 2010 at 16:05

What a wonderful trip you’ll have and how nice of you to share it with all of us. May everything go smoothly and may you get your just rewards for all the work you’ve done for this great organization! Enjoy it for me!

Hanna Russo March 17, 2010 at 16:46

I’m looking forward to your journey and wish you a safe trip and much fun. Also looking forward to hearing all about your experiences.

Judy in New Brunswick CANADA March 17, 2010 at 19:44

I am so envious of you going on this trip to South Africa! I will be following your journey VERY closely. Where will you land? Where will you stay at Kruger and when you go to the Orphanage?
Have a safe trip – looking forward to reading your travel blogs!

Liz Connelly March 17, 2010 at 20:48

HI sandy and Family
All the best for your holiday anad hope you have a good journey.
Your blog is very inspiational, anaad look forward to hearing all you do
All the best of health and love high spirrits be with you
lots of love
LIZ xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Venise March 17, 2010 at 21:59

Hi to all the Mc D’s & extended.

Thought of you this morning while walking Dusty & Woody before sunrise – you were already in the air! Look forward to sharing the journey with you and our love to to all the Joburgs – Rondy, Pete, Erin, Attucia & Frank. – V.xx

Corolla Au March 18, 2010 at 04:57

I wish I could join your trip. Thanks for sharing your trip with us.
Have a safe, successful and joyful trip! Take care.

Pam Johnson March 18, 2010 at 07:45

Thank you so much for taking the time to share this with us all. I shall feel I am on holiday as well as dying to see the pictures of the children when you arrive. Have a wonderful time.

Dawn Blake March 22, 2010 at 22:21

Good luck in your journey

Flame Lily March 23, 2010 at 10:06

Hi Sandy and Family

I’ve joined KAS while you’ve been busily traveling to SA ……

I just want to send you the very best of wishes, which you all so richly deserve, for a safe and wonderful trip.

I’m so looking forward to following your adventures on this blog. My heart will always be in Zimbabwe but a big chunk of it lies in SA. Please say hello to it from me!

Lots of love

a flame lily transplanted from her homeland and blooming in Belgium!

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