One day when I am floating towards those Pearly Gates, I can look back and say my life was never boring. There was always something, some little drama to keep me entertained. But stay out of it Hollywood because this is my soap opera. I have earned the copyright.
When I headed back to Cape Town in November 2014, after many years of working overseas, I thought I knew exactly what my future held. I was going to open a Remedial Centre for children with learning difficulties. It was going to be a business. I was going to make money and have a life.
But, like the books I write, there had to be a twist. And a good twist is one even the characters don't see coming.
Parents approached me to homeschool their children. The Remedial Centre was only in the afternoons, so there was time in my day to start a a learning/tutor centre in the mornings. But with word of mouth my learning/tutor centre grew until all my available time was spent teaching and getting resources together. There was no time left for my writing. No time to market the Remedial Centre. No time for family.
It began to feel like I was on a hamster wheel, treading for my life.
My business quickly evolved into a charity with all available funding going back into the learning centre. I started feeding the children. During this time I became aware of a huge need for a Family Crisis Centre in Table View, the suburb in which I lived. Women with children who fell on hard times, had nowhere to go when they got divorced, were being abused...there was no place for them in our area. Nowhere they could go until they got their lives back on track. Getting this Family Crisis Centre off the ground and up and running is my current project. I have applied to register an NGO but our government works at a different pace. With an excellent team and supportive parents, my learning centre has gone from strength to strength. We thrive on Ubunthu.
So from wanting to start a business and generate an income to make a living, I have moved onto wanting to make a difference in people's lives.
At night I go to bed tired but excited that I am making a difference.
The late great Nelson Mandela said, "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world."
This of course does mean that I have to sell my house as without an income I cannot afford to keep it.
A year ago I was working in an international school with privileged children, earning a fat salary. But I was unhappy and heading towards depression. Who would have thought that a year later I would be loving what I am doing, but too broke to pay attention?
But that doesn't stop me, I am about to change the world, one child at a time.
My life has changed direction and I never saw it coming.
My business evolved into a charity.
Teaching children who don't fit into the one-size-fits-all mold of the South African education system.
Helping children get the specialised education they need when their parents can't afford to pay for it.
Working to get a Family Crisis Centre off the ground.
Meeting other caring people in the community who are also committed to making a difference.
Now that there's an offer on my house, friends and family ask where I'll stay when my house is sold. I smile and shrug. "I'll let you know when I find out."
So many twists and turns in this current chapter of my life, I am getting a little dizzy.
If you can help fund our learning centre or Family Crisis Centre in any way, we have a Go Fund Me page. Every $5 helps. Food and resources are expensive. Every month is a struggle. Please click on the link. http://www.gofundme.com/vawqc8
Cindy Vine is the author of The Case of Billy B, Not Telling, Defective, C U @ 8 and Hush Baby. All her books are available on Amazon in kindle and paperback format.