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Ana's Adventures - An introduction to myself

Welcome to Ana's Adventures! This will be a monthly blog about my travel adventures. Before I dive into the exciting holiday gossip, I first want to tell you a little bit about myself.

I am currently 29 years and live with a physical impairment called Arthrogryposis. This is a rare condition that affects all four of my limbs. The technical term is the contraction of joints. My hands are twisted outwards as seen in the picture.

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I was originally born in Romania on 24th January 1990. The woman in the picture is my birth mother. As Romania was/is a third world country, the doctors couldn't help me properly. My birth mother chained herself to the British Embassy to get attention for someone to help. A woman who was a nurse had seen my mother and myself, sop contacted her friends in England who were both doctors to see if i could be helped. A huge fundraising event took place to raise the money to bring me to England. I was 18 months at the time. Once in England, my birth mother realised my life would be better in England so put me up for adoption. I was adopted at the age of four by a woman who was a physiotherapist.

Throughout my childhood, the woman who adopted me (Pam) pushed me to my limits to teach me how i can do tasks in life. Without my mum (Pam) I don't think I would be where I am now in life.

I attended a mainstream school in West Cumbria. Obviously I disliked school at the time as most of us do. I went to college to study Health & Social Care. Though I may not have a job out of it, it helps knowing my rights as a client receiving care.

School

After school and college comes the real world. you're taught in School that a CV is a key part of finding employment along with voluntary work and work placements. I did so many work placements I can't even name them all. What teachers forgot to mention i how hard getting a job is for any non disabled person, add an impairment on top...well it's even harder.

I came across Tourism for All in August 2017. This was through Cumbria Voluntary Service. I met with the Information Service Manager, Carrie-Ann Lightley, to discuss what I was interested in. I started on 2 days a week for a couple of hours. After a few weeks I upped the hours I was doing to 10-4 on the two days. I was answering the phone, and researching members requirements in accommodation. I enjoyed what I was doing.

Since June 2018, when Carrie-Ann left Tourism for All, I have been running the administration for Tourism for All, working 3 days a week from 11-4.30. For those who have volunteered, you hear a lot 'You can't do that bit, you're a volunteer'. But Tourism for All has given me a chance to show what I can do. This is the first time ever I have been trusted with such a huge responsibility and, stressful as it can be, I love it.

I’ve got what I always wanted. A role with responsibility. So, here I am 2 years later, still working on a volunteer basis, but it doesn't bother me in the slightest.

I travel a lot too (mostly cruises) so i was asked to start a blog on my adventures. I think I've bored you enough with my life story :) the next article will be about my second Transatlantic Cruise to the Caribbean.

Speak soon!!

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