Follow your dreams, transform your life. -Paul Coelho
Dreams from childhood are the most vivid, technicolor ones. The ones you can taste, smell and see so easily in your mind’s eye. He was just a tiny thing, but he knew one thing: He could not wait for the latest issue of Zoobooks to come in. Once a day, up to the week before it came in he would come and ask me:
“Has it arrived yet?”
“Did you check the mail today?”
He was fixated on the big game animals of Africa.
But this was no ordinary fixation, nor did it go away for a very long before it transcended into something else. Each night, before going to bed, he would dig out his favorite issue of ZooBooks, the heavily-worn and sometimes ripped cover and turn it page by page, reading about the wild animals he had grown so much to love.
The big animals from Africa were his favorite, as he just couldn’t fathom how they still existed in the real world.
As the years went by and he grew into a young man. The fixation went from animals to sports, but he never forgot his beloved Africa. As he made his way into the sports world, he became somewhat of a fanatic, you know the type that paints themselves silly or revolves their life’s schedule around a sport? or when the next world cup is being played? That’s the type of fanatic we had on our hands. A lacrosse-playin’, soccer-lovin’ teen, who has a passion for all things sports, and Africa. Once he learned that the World Cup was going to be played in Africa in 2010, we never heard the end of it. “I want to go to the World Cup, I want to go to Africa!” That was as good as it gets in his mind. Unfortunately, it came and it went, but Africa never happened for him or for us.
But he loved sports so much that he took it a different direction a few years back when he got involved with Fields of Growth, a LaCross charity organization that provides a platform for community-based partnerships with Uganda and Jamaica to help provide positive social impact through global leadership development. I wrote about it here. The whole thing was his idea and quite frankly, it was one of the best things he has chosen to do with himself over the course of a summer! He ended up being my inspiration to enter a contest to go to Africa.
I never gave it that much thought at the time, but soon found out I was one of five finalists after submitting a photo of him and our #SafariSoulMates.
It got so much attention, and because I used my son’s twitter name, he finally asked me to no longer tweet him!!
I have never been so excited about something that I don’t even know if it is going to happen or not. Just a few short days ago I got this tweet on my Twitter feed:
and then this morning they sent me the official email: I have been selecting to be on of the top 5 finalists in Southern Destinations African safari giveaway!! So here is the deal: Southern Destinations will be flying the winner and their #SafariSoulMates from anywhere in the world and taking them on an unforgettable & “Beyond Botswana Explorer” expedition valued at a totally wild US $16, 000! Now you know I am up for that. The hardest part is trying to find room in my busy schedule to fit it in, oh, and I actually have to win! The thing is, I am going to need some help to actually win this thing. What they want is for me to share my personal URL announcing my win with the hashtag #SafariSoulMates:
So if you can help this little girl do that, I sure would appreciate it! Share it on all your social channels and I even made a nice, precise tweet or Facebook share for you to share it if you like:
Help @PointsandTravel finally make it to #Africa with her #SafariSoulMates https://www.southerndestinations.com/cacinda-maloney/ @southernDest
Thanks to those friends that have already help me spread the word!
UPDATE: August 5, 2014, I found out that I was NOT the winner of this contest. 🙁
And just in case you have one more contest in you: My friend who provided the wonderful African Photos, Marilyn Jones is also in a contest all her own. She has the lion yawn, and the three lunchtime giraffes, that you can vote for.