My World Is About to Change

…and I couldn’t be more excited about it!

In January 2013, I’ll be traveling to Nicaragua, the second poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Can I tell you a little bit about why I’m going?

There is an organization there, Empowerment International, and they are doing amazing things with the children of the barios – the slums. They offer community based education to these children and counseling and emotional support to the families. They have quite a few different programs and one of them is a photography program.

Now, if you’re anything like my husband, you’re saying “What is the point of teaching children photography when they will never have enough money to buy a camera or be able to use photography to make a living?” The point is that it is allowing these children to express themselves artistically. These children are gaining so much self confidence and pride from sharing their world and expressing themselves through photography. I get it. As a photographer, I can understand that deep sense of pride when I create something beautiful. I can only imagine how much more it means to these children living in tin shacks with dirt floors. It must be so amazing to create something beautiful and the pride and self confidence they gain must be phenomenal.

The photography program is limited to a small number of students and it’s one of the most popular programs, but it also requires that the children attend school regularly. It is working to get them excited about school!

I’m headed down to Nicaragua to help teach the children in the photography program. While there I’ll also be documenting the lives of the children and families living in the barios to help bring back awareness. I don’t know about you, but I’ve lived most of my life in a little bubble of clean sheets, organic chicken, and wifi signals. I’ve never experienced what these families live on a daily basis and I’m honored to be able to bring some awareness to not only myself and my family, but to all of you.

I’m required to pay $1800 + airfare for this trip. That $1800 includes hotel accommodations, food for the entire trip (prepared by one of the families involved with EI), ground transportation, and a hefty donation to EI. I’ve never asked for your help with something like this before and I’m not entirely comfortable doing so now, but I really believe in this organization and what they’re doing to help the families there. I’m asking you to help fund my trip. I’m honestly asking for just $5. Your $5 would not only change my world, but help change the world of these children and families.

You are, of course, welcome to donate more than the $5. And, I’ll completely understand if you choose not to donate anything at all.

You can donate directly through Razoo, a safe online fundraising site. The money will go directly to Empowerment International. You will receive a tax receipt if you donate through Razoo.com, however there is a $10 minimum donation.

The other option available is donating through paypal. The paypal minimum is just $5, but you would not get a tax receipt. If you choose to donate through paypal, the money will come directly to me and I will then donate the money to Empowerment International myself.

I’m asking for any help you can give.
I can not wait to come back and share the stories and photos of my trip with all of you.

Photos provided by Melissa Palomo and shared here with permission.

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22 Responses to “My World Is About to Change”

  1. JulieD October 2, 2012 @ 12:49 pm (#
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    I’m so excite for you, Karly!! What an amazing opportunity and an amazing thing you’re doing!!! xo

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  2. Maggie Keen October 2, 2012 @ 12:52 pm (#
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    This is really unbelievably cool, and I think your pretty cool for participating!

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  3. Renee October 2, 2012 @ 1:13 pm (#
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    This is a wonderful opportunity! My husband & I honeymooned in Nicaragua. Most amazing experience I’ve ever had. I wish you safe travels!

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  4. Natalie October 2, 2012 @ 1:14 pm (#
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    WOW. And you wanted a hand to hold going to BHF?? This looks incredible. And life-changing. How long will you be there? I’d love to help out!

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    Karly Reply:

    @Natalie,

    Bloggers are so much scarier than children. ;) I am a little nervous about the flight though. I’ve never flown alone before. (Yes, I’m a dork.)

    I’ll be there for 7 days.

    Thank you so much for the donation! It truly means the world to me. <3

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  5. sally @ sallys baking addiction October 2, 2012 @ 1:47 pm (#
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    An incredible, touching journey for you ahead Karly. What a difference you will make in these children’s lives. To be able to express themselves creatively in an otherwise limiting lifestyle is a miracle. So wonderful, Karly and I wish you the BEST of luck! I hope to hear about the journey when you get back :)

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  6. Jenni October 2, 2012 @ 2:28 pm (#
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    Almost ten years ago I went on a trip to help build a school for the Carib Indians on the island of Dominica. It was an experience that has changed my life. It was the most awesome humbling experience I have ever had. You will never regret it. Can’t wait to hear about it when you come back.

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  7. Averie @ Averie Cooks October 2, 2012 @ 3:22 pm (#
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    I went to Mexico City on a photography trip a couple years ago. It changed my life. I have posts about it. LMK if you want to see them. I also spent a month in Costa Rica and was in Nicaragua briefly. You’re honestly going to love it and will change the way you see the world, yourself, your kids, just…everything. SO EXCITED for you and bravo for doing this!

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    Karly Reply:

    @Averie @ Averie Cooks,

    I would love to see the posts about your trip! Link me? Or can I just search your site for Costa Rica or something?

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  8. Pat October 2, 2012 @ 6:56 pm (#
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    I have to say that this is simply awesome and you will NEVER be the same! I’ve been to Costa Rica and would move there in a heartbeat if I had the $$$. The people are warm and wonderful and the country is divine. I feel from recommendations that Nicaragua is too! It’s wonderful to give these children something to develop their abilities and self-confidence. Who knows where they might go after? All they need is a teacher and encouragement that yes, they can do anything they want to!

    Pat
    P.S. I traveled to Thailand by myself…want me to go along and help with your luggage? :)

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  9. Jen @ Savory Simple October 2, 2012 @ 6:59 pm (#
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    Wow… I’m in awe of this. Good for you!!!

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  10. Bryn October 2, 2012 @ 7:44 pm (#
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    What an amazing opportunity! So happy to help. Have a wonderful trip.

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  11. Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes October 2, 2012 @ 8:07 pm (#
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    So cool that you are doing this! I’m sure it will be life-changing :)

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  12. Jocelyn October 2, 2012 @ 9:00 pm (#
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    Going to places like these is truly life changing….you will come back and look at everything so differently. I went with our church to Haiti last year at this time and it brings tears to your eyes when you get there and see what people live like outside of our bubble. I can’t wait to hear and see pictures from this experience! It is amazing what you will do there!!!

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  13. Amy C. October 2, 2012 @ 9:53 pm (#
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    Congrats on your exciting news!!!! I would be just as excited! I see that you have pictures from Melissa Palomo!!!! I just met her over this past weekend. We live near each other and she was at a grand opening for a new vet place in our home town!!!!! She is so talented! Good luck to you and enjoy your new journey!!!!!!! <3

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  14. Kay Carlson October 3, 2012 @ 6:33 am (#
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    I went to El Salvador 2 years ago on a Mission trip for church, and it was a life-changing experience! The pics on your sight brought back fond memories and I know you will never regret going. YOU will learn much from these people as they will learn from you! Enjoy and Bless you!

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  15. Elizabeth @Food Ramblings October 3, 2012 @ 5:06 pm (#
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    What a great program! Going to Nicaragua to do service work left such an impression on me!

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  16. Stacy Downs October 6, 2012 @ 3:55 pm (#
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    That is wonderful, its like mission work u are reaching out to people and letting us see how they live and grow. If I had all the money in the world it would go there( plus taking care of my kids of course and my handsome hubby) My dream is to travel like that before I get too old to do it. I’m 42 now. I miss the mission trips growing up as a y outh and traveling .

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  17. Megan @ whatmegansmaking October 8, 2012 @ 11:23 am (#
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    What a cool opportunity! And such a fun way to use your talents to help others. I can’t wait to hear all about your trip!

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    Karly Reply:

    @Megan @ whatmegansmaking,

    Thanks, Megan! I’m super excited!

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  18. Online Kredit May 21, 2013 @ 11:07 am (#
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