I’ve managed to cross a few more things off my to do list.
First off all my passport FINALLY arrived in the mail, just in time for me to send a copy of it to International Student Volunteers (the programme I am volunteering with). Not entirely sure why they needed a copy but I managed to get it in on time.
Not to mention the fact that I need a passport in order to travel and I was starting to get really worried that it wouldn’t arrive in time.
Next I handed in a form at the doctors that they would look over and then recommend the vaccinations I need. Really hoping I won’t be needing many because I really hate needles.
Oh well, a jab in the arm is a small price to pay for my health.
Although I can’t really say it’s a small price. Have you seen the cost of vaccinations lately? Pretty pricey.
Lastly I made a few more faceboook posts promoting my donation page:
The final payment deadline is looming and I’m almost there! Just a few more donations and I might make it.
I am really looking forward to leaving for South Africa and it makes it even better that I am going there for a good cause. I really believe that the work I will be doing will make a difference and have positive effect, not to mention it will be so much fun and an amazing experience. I can’t wait to leave and then I’ll actually have something exciting to write about on the next blog post.
After my excitement of being accepted died down, I realised that I had a few problems to face.
One being that I didn’t have a passport.
The last time I left the country was when I flew to Australia for a holiday, and that was over 10 years ago. So picking up a passport application was at the top of my to-do list.
Next was money. Program fees and flights aren’t cheap. The quick solution to that was to set up a separate bank account and transfer some of my wages into it every week and with some tight budgeting, I should make it. But I also created an online fundraising page so that my friends and family could help out. After all, it is a charity!
Luckily, the ISV program sorted out my flights for me, and I would be flying with the other volunteers, plus travel insurance was included! Most volunteer organisation will offer this kind of service and it’s best to take it as they give the lowest prices and you know you won’t get lost or stuck. It’s one less thing to worry about.
Then there was my health. Unfortunately, South Africa isn’t exactly disease free. So a quick check up with my GP to make sure I’m up to date with all my vaccinations was in order. (I was assured by ISV that we would be in malaria free zones)
Lastly, what would I pack? I need to travel light, but four weeks of various activities would call for a bit of luggage. Once again, ISV got my back by providing a rough list of everything I would need to take, and they also promised to send a more specific one closer to the date as I don’t yet know exactly what activities I will be participating in.
Now I had my to-do list, time to get busy.
I had heard the volunteers giving passionate speeches about the joys of volunteering overseas. The excitement, the adventure, and thrill of it all was enough to peak my attention.
So, out of curiosity, I decided to look into it further and even filled out an application. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would actually be accepted. It was a sign. I was going to do this.
After sending in a deposit for the programme fees did it hit me. I just agreed to travel all the way to South Africa on my own. I had never been travelled that far before, let alone going there by myself. This was huge for me. But I was excited, I was ready for it.
I’ve always been a bit of an adrenaline-junky. Bungy jumping, white water rafting, spelunking, I’ve done it all. I’m always looking for a way to escape my ‘comfort zone’ and live life on the edge. Or in some cases, jump of the edge with an exhilarated scream and swing madly on the rope that is all that’s keeping you from falling into the rushing waters below.
So a trip to South Africa where I will be up close and personal with lions, cheetahs, rhinos, elephants and more? Hell Yeah.
Not only is this an amazing experience and adventure for me, but going to South Africa will be serving a purpose.
International Student Volunteers (ISV) are dedicated to helping those that need it. And my time in South Africa will not be wasted. We will be building schools and playgrounds to underprivileged children, and monitoring and protecting endangered wildlife. As a natural born philanthropist and animal lover, I was all for it.
South Africa, here I come.