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This past February half of Firegirlsbaking embarked on a journey across the globe to not only enjoy an epic adventure but to also create some meaningful connections. We decided that since we couldn’t both go (one of us didn’t fit in the backpack), we needed to meet in cyberspace and bake with kids from both sides of the world at the same time. Of course we were entirely unaware of how to execute this plan, but that’s how we roll… We found that the time change/date change math is actually pretty challenging and needed to be calculated often. Then there was the technical component. There is no way we could pull this off without some expert assistance. Martin Dugas (CEO of RMHNA), Wayne Howett (CEO RMHA) and the staff at the Houses in Wellington and Edmonton came together on February 23 or February 24, at either 8:00 a.m. or 1:00 p.m., depending on which continent they were on to make this experience happen. See there’s that crazy date time change! We don’t have the words to explain how grateful we are for all of their efforts on our behalf.

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Our plan was to bake pumpkin doughnuts at both Houses. We were met with absolute kindness, hospitality and, to be honest, a bit of skepticism from our new friends as pumpkin isn’t really a thing in New Zealand. We were told that pumpkin is savoury, not sweet. No one mentioned that New Zealand pumpkin is more like a gourd and only used in soup or as a side vegetable. Pumpkin isn’t a season in New Zealand like it is in Canada. Who knew??? Good thing a can of Canadian pumpkin somehow managed to find it’s way through border security…

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We were excited to introduce our ‘go to’ pumpkin doughnut recipe to another Ronald McDonald House. Fortunately, the Wellington House was gracious enough to open their kitchen and their hearts to us. The kids not only loved meeting each other and baking together, they also totally enjoyed watching each other and themselves on the screens. It was a really great experience for everyone involved. We learned that despite the geography, the Houses were strikingly similar. Sure there were some structural and design differences, but love, friendship, courage, hope and grace lived in both Houses. Thanks to technology, the fact that we were 18 hours and 12,557 kilometres apart was insignificant. We were able to connect, share and bake simultaneously with families in two different Houses that were half a world apart. We discovered that we are all #StrongerTogether and with teamwork, desire and faith, the world really can become smaller.

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