Whether you knew Donna personally or through the various online communities that she belonged to, I’m sure you will agree that ‘inspirational’ comes easily to mind when you think of her. At this point I can almost hear a self-deprecating objection: can’t you just hear her say something along the lines of “Well if I’ve managed to inspire a few people to drink more good red wine than plonk, or pick up a book occasionally instead of vegetating in front of the telly box then my life won’t have been entirely wasted”?
She had an eclectic range of interests, which were reflected here (deserved recognition for her blog with those awards): good wine and good food, yes, and good books and good music and poetry and science and the world beyond her garden fence. But her true consuming passion was education, her own adventurous life will prove that point beyond doubt. She was highly aware and concerned about the power of education to change lives, especially the lives of the otherwise so under-privileged. Therefore it will come as no surprise to anyone that her chosen bequest is for a charity that aids some of the least privileged people in the world. It sponsors children in Rwanda through school and vocational education. If you feel inspired by Donna’s example in this matter as in so many others, then please look at the website of the Nu-vision Ministry or at a report on their work. To sum up: expanding horizons was one of her mottos, and didn’t she succeed there?
In the meantime, perhaps you would care to leave a comment on how Donna expanded your horizon?
I can set the ball rolling:
I’ve been a reader all my life, but Donna encouraged me to take my reading more seriously, be more thoughtful about my choices, assess what I’ve read and keep a journal.
Her blog was the first one that made me realise that a blog could be so much, much more than rather self-obsessed twitterings: she often led me to places on the web that I would never have visited otherwise. The New Scientist for example: amazing, since I have a bit of a gene defect when it comes to science. When I was considering starting one myself (a blog that is, rather than a science), she was helpful in forcing me to think carefully about what I wanted to achieve, who I wanted to reach, what my purpose was.
She inspired me to go back to school: I’m currently engaged on a course at the Fernuniversität (German Distance Learning University) working towards an MA in a mixture of history and literature. I would never have started this without Donna’s example. Mind you, I sometimes wonder if it was a good idea, especially when coming up to exams!