A journey of a thousand miles begins with just under 2 weeks to go and I thought it is necessary to start my very own blog to share with you all with my volunteering experience in upcoming trip. In late January 2013, I was successfully accepted into a volunteer work abroad in Cebu, Philippines for a period of three months. I couldn't express my joy and had to share the great news to my family and friends. Before this amazing opportunity, I have never thought I would get the chance to experience of volunteer abroad during my time since I am university student and couldn't fit 'volunteer abroad' in my agenda. Luckily, the period of volunteer work abroad, run by VSO, is actually fit into my summer vacation.
To understand my trip, here a brief summary: In June, I will volunteer for 3 months on a development programme in Cebu, Philippines. This is part of International Citizens Service (ICS), run by Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) which brings young people together to fight poverty and make a difference where it is need most. I will be working and living alongside volunteers from Philippines, on a project focused deaf people on human rights, education, gender, and health issues.
Prior to volunteer abroad in Philippines, I have completed my fundraising target and I would like to say a big thank you to those who have donated. The total amount is £1,200 and it was a great experience over months of fundraising. I was also completed my countless immunisations. I was injected with unprecedented 10 times! I was so glad to complete all 'To Do Lists' including visa and I couldn't wait to start my shopping trip this week to buy stuff, especially tee-shirt and flip flop! Needless to say, the British weather is awful this year and therefore I haven't got much summer clothes in my wardrobe. I am anxious with the baggage allowance at the airport. The limit is 30kg and I fear that my luggage could be well over the limit since I virtually need everything in my wardrobe, books, toiletries, shoes, and so on for three months. I'll have to wait and see. During the preparation, I have been researching all about the Philippines and its customs, cultures, values and society and it seems to be a great place to be assigned. Apparently, it is hot-spot for scuba diving, ooh...
How am I feeling right now? Well, I am very much looking forward to once-in-a-lifetime experience but nerves are starting to kick in! Indeed, experiencing an unfamiliar way of life may take me longer to adjust myself in the right position. Living with host family for three whole months would be very interesting and I have no idea who are they until arrived in Philippines. There are lots of question in my head that need to be answers such as their daily routine, whether they are strict or not, and so on. I am very nervous about this but I have to be patience and just accepted whoever is my host family. Nevertheless, it is great opportunity to find out more about myself and my commitment to challenges.
So, it is under 2 weeks left and everything is going well. Like I say, fundraising, visa, immunisations are completed and all I have to do is to pack my bags and do some more research on community in Cebu, Philippines.
That's it for now. I'll write another blog just before I jet off for good!