“If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself, and then make a change” – Michael Jackson, Man in the Mirror
These words inspired Pam Clarke (née Pasicnyk) for much of her life, but when a company re-organization put her out of a job last December, she knew it was the perfect opportunity for her family to make a change.
Loyal Blundstone wearers through and through, Pam, her husband Kevin and twelve-year-old daughter Maddie, always wanted to make a difference. Together they travelled from Italy, to rural Africa, to London, Scotland and Ireland, determined to seek adventure, learn from locals and help however they could.
Of course, their favourite boots came along for the ride. They sported a matching colour—rustic brown—which caught the attention of many. Pam would often “see people looking and smiling and pointing at our [matching] iconic footwear.”
After three weeks touring the historical parts of Italy and eating all the pasta in sight, the Clarke family travelled to Tanzania in East Africa, set on volunteering and helping the inhabitants. For three weeks they volunteered at a local orphanage called Tumaini Children’s Foundation, located at the base of Mount Meru in Usa River, where their trusty Blundstone boots definitely came in handy.
The little orphanage is run by “Mama Dee” a Canadian woman from Simcoe, Ontario and offers services for the entire community. During the day Pam and Maddie would help with basic daily chores or spend time with the kids. They applied their skills wherever needed.
Kevin used his handyman skills (and reliable boots), to work with the shelter’s handyman and build dorms for local high school girls. These were used so the teenage girls wouldn’t have to walk home alone at night, something that is very unsafe.
Pam was thankful for the experience, wanting her daughter to see what a privileged life she had and give her a chance to appreciate the hardships that many face in this world. Taking the leap and stepping outside of their comfort zone is something they will never regret, as Pam says, “No words explain how deeply we feel for this place and these kids.”
The Clarkes rewarded their efforts in Tumaini with a three-day safari ending it in the Ngorongoro Crater with a traditional Masai Warrior Dance, where Kevin proudly rocked his Blundstone boots. This was followed by five days on the beaches of Zanzibar.
Next was the United Kingdom, followed by Ireland, before they found their way home.
But why Blundstone boots? Pam shared her struggles on packing for such a versatile trip. They each had one backpack for three months and had to be sure they packed only the essentials. There would be a lot of walking, and several different terrains from rainy weather to heat waves. They needed their shoes to be comfortable but look great whether touring the Vatican Museum in Italy or trekking the dirt roads in the African countryside. A reliable footwear that could work with any outfit and something Kevin could use as work boots in Africa. “Our Blunnies fit the bill for all of it.”
Maddie has been a Blundstone wearer since the age of three, when she got her first pair as hand me downs. From that moment on, the family was hooked! Unfortunately, three days into their trip, the airline lost Maddie’s entire bag. At least her Blunnies were on her feet and not in the missing luggage.
It’s always a challenge to step outside your comfort zone and experience something new and unknown. Pam ended the trip full of pride for what her family achieved in three short months. “They were rock stars.” And with everywhere life has taken the Clarke family, their Blundstone Boots have never let them down.