Help Geordan get to Wales!
My introduction to Wales and to the Welsh language happened back in October of 2011 after being introduced to the music of Gruff Rhys, a musician from Wales who writes songs in both English and Welsh. After listening to his songs, I quickly developed an interest in the language and decided that I wanted to learn a few words and phrases. Fortunately, I found an amazing online course called SaySomethingInWelsh that taught me much more than I was ever expecting to learn. After finishing that course and starting a few others, I decided to see just how much Welsh I could learn, and the rest is history. Over the past 5 years, through some amazing strokes of luck, I have met some of my favorite Welsh musicians in person, been featured in a Welsh-language magazine, been on Welsh-language radio, and most recently participated in a Welsh-language documentary about the upcoming 2016 presidential election here in the United States. I’ve also been fortunate enough to connect with so many other Welsh speakers from Wales and from around the world.
Anyway, the biggest reason that I’ve decided to start this GoFundMe is because I was invited to come to this year’s National Eisteddfod (the annual Welsh-language language and culture festival) after I made this video of myself speakingWelsh.
The video circulated online and earned me quite a bit of attention, and, before I knew it, I had been nominated twice to compete in the Dysgwr y Flwyddyn (Learner of the Year) competition. Many people were willing to help me raise money to come to the Eisteddfod and to compete in the competition, but I had to decline, due to a time conflict with my job. However, I was able to keep my nomination and I should be free to visit Wales during the 2017 National Eisteddfod.
I am ecstatic to participate in the Dysgwr y Flwyddyn competition! But, even more than that, I would love to travel to this beautiful country that I have been dreaming of visiting for so long. The connections that I have made with so many people and the kindness that everyone has shown me has made such an impact on my life.
From the research that I have done, I’ve found that a round trip plane ticket to Wales from Cleveland (my hometown) would cost anywhere between $1300 and $1700. I am trying to raise about $2000 so that I would also have money for accommodations/a place to stay once I get to Wales. For anything else, I would use my own savings. The Eisteddfod is also 9 months away, which gives me 8 months to raise funds, so I figured I’d give this a try!
Anyway, any donation amount would mean the world to me, as would a reshare/repost/retweet, etc. Thank you so much for reading !!
Unfortunately, my life has changed drastically over the past weeks, and I am no longer sure whether or not I will be able to compete in the Dysgwr y Flwyddyn contest, or travel to Wales this summer even if I don’t compete. My mother had been experiencing health problems for the past months, and, 10 days ago, she was diagnosed with a relatively rare form of cancer. There are still a lot of things that need to be determined about how her treatment will look, and what will happen in the future, but it has become clear that I will need to leave graduate school, move home, and find a job right away. This will likely mean that I won’t have the free time that I was expecting to have during this upcoming summer, as I will have to work and/or take care of my mom.
I say all of that to say that, while I would really like to come to Wales this year, I am not thinking that it will be feasible. I asked for donations toward the price of a plane ticket in order to travel to Wales and compete in the Dysgwr y Flwyddyn competition, but I no longer think that I will be able to use the money for what I intended to use it for. If this really is the case and I will not be able to travel, I would like to refund everyone that donated to me. I will have to look into this more, but it looks like GoFundMe does in fact have a way to refund donors.
I will hopefully be updating again in a couple of weeks after I have a clearer idea of what my plans for the future will be. Thanks again, everyone, for your support.