Volunteering in Africa: 'I didn't want to leave'
EIGHT years ago, Jenny Humphrey and her husband Laurie hopped on a plane to Africa and have only just returned to the Coast.
Ms Humphrey is an early childhood teacher and her husband is a builder.
With their skills combined, the pair lived in Zimbabwe for three and a half years volunteering.
"We went with the hope to work with abandoned orphan children and babies," Ms Humphrey said.
Vimbai was one of the orphans who graced the couple's lives.
"She came to the orphanage when she was guestimated around three to four months old.
"We helped her learn to walk and talk. I remember watching her the first time she saw a hail storm. I have very precious, beautiful memories of our time there," Ms Humphrey said.
Ms Humphrey said the pair left Zimbabwe in 2014 with "very heavy hearts," but little did they know over the border in South Africa they would soon make this their "home away from home" for the remainder of their time in Africa.
Here Ms Humphrey worked in a mission school while her husband helped build the school's auditorium.
"Lots of beautiful memories were created and then the decision was made to come home," she said.
Ms Humphrey's husband is now retired and she spends some of her time volunteering at the Mooloolah Riverwatch and Landcare Nursery - so it's easy to see volunteering runs thick in her veins.
"I didn't want to leave because I knew I had made a difference in the lives I had met, it was an incredibly privileged position."
The pair not only touched the lives of children in need but also learnt valuable lessons along the way.
"They don't have very much there but they're happy, and they taught us that we don't need much to be happy," Ms Humphrey said.
"In our society we're lead to believe we need all these material possessions.
"What we really need is connection, relationships and love."