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.