I have been meaning to post for a while, recognizing that the me who started this journey (not just volunteering in Jamaica, but redesigning my life to allow for that and so much more) is still me even in double layers of wool socks and huddled up to my fireplace. I’m still me even though the path I thought I was starting out on in September 2014 has taken a slightly difference route. I’m still that me. But when one takes on a persona as “the Tropical Canadian” it seems important to spend some time in the tropics to keep that persona thawed out. And, well, that hasn’t happened.

UNTIL NOW! After too long languishing in my desk my passport is about to get some new stamps, and I am about to thaw out from an unusually chilly winter. In a few weeks I’ll be heading south for some island hopping between Saint Lucia, Martinique and Dominica. You can expect some actual tropical posts from that adventure. It really is true that you’re not really going until you’ve bought your tickets, and then the journey has started!

Before then, however, there’s another matter at hand. I’m not sure how it happened, but in just 37 days I will have been home from Jamaica for two years. I swear I can still smell the chicken at Jojo’s and still feel the warm salty breeze as I take my lunchtime stroll along Ocean Boulevard. I’ve been home far far longer than I was there, and I still miss it every day.

There’s a significance to 2 years, and it is this: I made a promise when I agreed to go to Jamaica that within 2 years of returning I would raise $2,000 for CUSO International. That $2,000, when boosted by very generous matching funds, covers the cost for CUSO to send another volunteer (or maybe to send me again!) to another community to make a difference. It seemed like next to nothing at the time  – $2,000 is really not a lot of money. And yet, with 37 days to go I am $818 short of my goal.

Can you help? This is not about my promise (well, it is, but it isn’t) but about the kinds of difference CUSO volunteers and their country partners make every day around the world.

Your give makes a very real difference. Click here to give online.