Volunteering from the heart
13 March 2007
by Abbas Al Lawati
"Whenever I see him I say ‘Assalamu Alaikum, gummy bear'. He gets very excited and tries to pull me towards him," she said. ‘Gummy bear', who has a speaking disability among others, tries to call her ‘ouma' or ‘grandma' in Afrikaans, said Winstanely.
She volunteers in music therapy classes at the Abu Dhabi centre and said "just a smile is good enough".
Besides volunteering, she takes care of her husband and 78-year old mother-in-law, who she calls the family's "rock of stability", and writes a blog about the different places she's visited and lived and her experiences there.
"I've lived in the United Kingdom, South Africa, Botswana, Kenya, Malawi, Ghana, Saudi Arabia and the UAE," she said. "I've even had to get used to living a Japanese lifestyle in the middle of the African bush."
The different experiences she had have taught her not to take anything for granted. "Here you can just go to a shop and buy some bread, but I have had to worry a month in advance about going to a town two hours away to buy ingredients to make my own bread in Africa," she recalled.