What's "behind" one of our newest Sunrise members, Donrita Reefman?
Where is Donrita From?  Donrita was born into a devout Catholic family in The Hague in the Netherlands.  She was a much longed for baby after 7 ½ years of marriage, in which her mother had resorted to babying a doll in lieu of a real child.  Donrita lived her first few years in Holland and, surprisingly, has memories of that time.  In particular, she remembers her father eating ham and mustard – she was not allowed mustard, ostensibly because it “makes children tell lies”.  Much later, her mother revealed that it is, in fact, an aphrodisiac!!!!  (Watch Keens’ stocks rise when this gets out!!)
 
The family migrated to Australia via a short stay in a Sydney migrant hostel, and settled in the Northern Beaches of Sydney when Donrita was just under 3 years old.  When she was 10, her baby sister was adopted into the family.  Donrita has moved twenty times in her lifetime!
 
She and Peter were living in a home in Hornsby most recently, and decided to try to live more sustainably.  They now live in Calulu and are trying to grow their own food.  They have people from all over the world come to stay with them, in their Bed and Breakfast, and through Workaways. Donrita is thrilled when their guests are inspired to change their habits to lessen their adverse environmental effects on the world.
 
What does Donrita Do?
Donrita trained as a primary school teacher, and particularly enjoyed the musical part of her teaching, playing piano for school Gilbert and Sullivan productions.  She married Peter in 1980.  Their first baby Josiah Peter Franciscus sadly died of cot death. Donrita and Peter had six more children, the youngest being named for his oldest brother, 17 years later.  They now have 4 grandchildren.
 
Donrita home-schooled all her children, with a strong emphasis on music.  Little Josiah “played the broken violin with a chopstick” while his older siblings made beautiful music.  They are all still strongly involved in music making.
 
As a family, and now as a couple, Donrita has always enjoyed camping.  The highlight year of her life was 1997, when they bought a self-contained bus and travelled around Australia as “Seven Little Australians in Search of Understanding”. The children learned more in that year than in any year of conventional education, and had a lot of interaction with aboriginal communities.
 
One of Donrita’s motivating forces is helping people to “find their voice”.  She is a long term member of Toastmasters, and was, at one stage, training 7 choirs in Sydney.  A call went out for help training women in the Solomon Islands in public speaking, so they could learn to speak up for themselves about family violence. Donrita volunteered for this, and helped to set up a local spokeswomen’s group.  She hopes to tell us more about this venture at some stage.
 
She is currently trying to start a business, Beyond Grey Nomads.  Her inspiration is her parents of 91 and 92, who like to go on holiday, but need Donrita to go with them.  She wants to make a little business where she facilitates older people, perhaps up to two couples, to have a holiday, travelling with them and making it possible for them to have holidays they cannot manage alone.
 
She has also recently become involved with a travel company called Why Harvest, which organizes pilgrimages to various religious sites worldwide.
 
To Summarize:  Donrita is a migrant.  Her personal motto is “Help People find their Voice” and her claim to fame is that she co-raised six children and is currently working at becoming a better citizen of the world.
 
John thanked Donrita for her wonderful talk.
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