…One of these things is not the same! (Special props to anyone who can leave the source of this song in the comments!) Normally I try to categorize my 3 Things Thursday posts so that the items ‘go’ together. They don’t have to be done this way, and you will see when you visit the other participating blogs that it’s actually quite fun to be random! But this week, two things did end up kind of belonging together (loosely, because they are about helping others) and the third thing…it’s just something I wanted to share with you!

Before I get into the heart of my post, I want to congratulate the hosts of 3 Things Thursday – Pink Chai Living, The Write Balance and Love Laugh Mirch – as they celebrate the first birthday of this linkup! They are gifting a lucky reader with some very cool items (some of my favourite things, actually!), and you can enter to win on their sites!

1. a good cause

My friend Stephanie (who is also the genius behind this site design) is raising funds for her volunteering trip to Nicaragua! Her humour totally shows through in her plea for pledges; depending on the amount you donate, she and/or her friend Amy will do something really silly and document it as proof! For just $5, you can watch Amy and Steph high-five all the Nicaraguan kids in their area! It’s no wonder my kids just love their Steph Chachi (aunty)!

Here’s why they chose Nicaragua: Nicaragua is the largest yet among the poorest of countries in the Americas. A vast 48% of it’s people live below the poverty line and 79.9% of the population live with less than $2 per day. This means much of the country is unable to satisfy their basic living needs. After learning of all this, Amy and I decided what better country to lend a helping hand to than the one that needs it the most. So we will be traveling to Nicaragua on April 2 to stay at Monty’s Volunteer Lodge for 7 days in the rural town of Jiquilillo. The lodge is owned by a school teacher from Kamloops, BC, Donald Montgomery. Upon traveling to Jiquillio in 2006, Donald had an instant connection with the people of the small and recently hurricane ravaged fishing village. The locals struggle daily to access sufficient food, clothing, education and health care. He established the lodge as a way for global travelers to assist the local community as well as bring the benefits of small-scale tourism to the population.

Check out her GoVoluntouring page for more details about the particular projects they will be helping with. ** They are collecting donations until tomorrow (Friday) so don’t put it off if you’d like to participate! 

Best wishes and safe travels, Steph and Amy!


2. a social enterprise

In addition to enjoying the talks at SheTalksYVR a few weeks ago, I had a great time visiting the vendors and sponsors. Social enterprises have a special way of making me happy. It’s like an inside-out kind of giddiness that makes me want to high five everyone involved in this win-win situation. So, meeting the good folks at Modern Fort was great fun! Check out this business that supports a different organization/cause each month in a very cool, creative way. Shop for a cause!

3. an update…on tea

If you haven’t guessed yet which item does not belong…it’s this one! I thought I’d give you an update on my quest for my signature drink. I had tried out the rooibos with coconut beverage, cardamom and honey. After trying out several configurations, I realized that rooibos is just too darn good on its own. Straight up: no milk, no honey. So, I do enjoy a cup of that, especially after a big dinner. (Did I mention it’s fat-burning?!) And then I thought, if rooibos is good the way it’s intended, perhaps an Indian-spiced tea with milk should be just that as well. So, I went out and bought some decaf orange pekoe (since one of my requirements was that it had to be decaf) and did a happy dance when I learned that orange pekoe, being a black tea, also has some supreme health benefits! I stuck to the coconut beverage because I never have to cross my fingers and hope I don’t bloat, like I sometimes do with cow’s milk. It does make the chai a bit lighter, but that can be a good thing, too, right?

There you have it – another week, another 3 Things Thursday post! Thanks for reading!