Lyn's stepping out of her comfort zone to make a difference
When Lyn Barham sets out on the ten-day Trek to Reach Out across Myanmar in February, the librarian from Dungog is expecting a challenge unlike any she has faced before.
'This is right out of my comfort zone,’ Lyn admits, although she is no stranger to hiking. ‘I’ve done some walks in the past—the two-day Milford Sound walk in New Zealand, and some in Argentina, but walking in the heat is not usually my thing!’
Lyn wasted little time signing up for the Trek to Reach Out after receiving a newsletter from Catholic Mission, who she supports as a regular giving partner.
‘It took me about 30 seconds to think about signing up for it, so you could definitely say I was inspired to join,’ she says.
‘The only thing I was concerned about really was raising the funds. It’s the first time I have done anything like this before.’
(Photo: Dungog Chronicle)
Aside from covering her trip expenses, part of Lyn’s preparation for the adventure will be raising funds for projects supported by Catholic Mission, which she will have the opportunity to visit during the Trek.
‘I am really interested to see first-hand the difference that our fundraising can make in the lives of others,’ she says. ‘I am excited to visit Myanmar, a country I never expected to see and to visit the projects we are supporting.’
After just a few months of fundraising, Lyn had already surpassed her original dollar target. ‘I can't believe I reached my goal so quickly,’ she said in an update to followers. ‘Everyone has been so generous, and I am very grateful for your support.’
The unique adventure will see Lyn and seven other participants trekking through the stunning mountainous countryside of the so-called Land of the Golden Pagodas before arriving in Yangon, Myanmar’s biggest city.
Lyn, who works at the Tocal Agricultural Centre in Paterson and has lived in Dungog for 25 years, says the experience of traveling to a country as different as Myanmar fills her with excitement.
'In some ways I am expecting that this trip will be a life changing adventure. Experiencing the lives of people in a culture so different to my own will cause me to reassess my own priorities.’
About Myanmar’s turbulent recent history, which has kept it in international headlines, Lyn is keeping an open mind. ‘My family is probably more concerned than I am,’ she says. ‘However, I have a feeling of expectation and excitement that has pushed any concerns well into the background.’
For her family, any doubts have been replaced by an enormous sense of pride. ‘I could not be prouder of my mother’s effort in raising funds for those less fortunate,’ says Lyn’s son Nick.
‘She is a very inspirational woman and I’m certainly looking forward to hearing all about her trek and adventure in Myanmar.'
As the Trek draws closer, Lyn insists she will continue to raise funds for the vital children’s projects she will visit. ‘I don't have to stop simply because I have reached my original goal,’ she says. ‘Every dollar raised will go towards a great cause.’