We all have things we like to spend money on, which isn't a bad thing. I more than anyone, enjoy buying ice cream, new books and flights to exciting new places, for new experiences, learning something different and even sometimes, just for the pure pleasure of that ice cream hitting my taste buds.
We are here to enjoy what life has for us.
There are times though, when I would think about others who live in poverty, should I really be spending the money I have on a new bike, pair of shoes or even a chocolate bar?
I remember clearly being in this dilemma, even before going to Uganda for the first time, and wondering what should I do? I 'lived off the land' for 9 months, although those who genuinely do this would call me a fraud. I did quite well though, mostly only eating things that were grown from the ground; potatoes, fruit, vegetables, seeds, nuts and I could only eat meat when I knew which local farm it came from. The only sweet thing I ate was honey. I had honey on everything.
I also tried other things like giving up plastic and only buying necessities (and I mean necessities) all of which helped remind me of the situations of people living in poverty all around the world but I still felt something was missing. I missed the occasional cake, sharing home brewed cider with friends or even going to see a band play. I was missing out on some parts of what makes life good.
I wanted a way of enjoying the life I have, whilst at the same time remembering and even benefiting those who live in poverty. So instead of giving up good things, for a month in 2010 I matched the money I spent on alcohol and donated it to charity.