I had my last set of vaccines today. The nurse was surprised that I had them done so early! But I’m glad I did because it gets a massive stress out of the way. Now all I need to worry about is what to pack, spending money and the fact that I can’t speak Spanish.
I can’t speak Spanish!
To lessen the stress of the latter problem I have been taking Spanish lessons. But there’s nothing like going to the country to learn! So I will (hopefully) be going to Spain for 2 weeks in December to WWOOF in Barcelona. Here I will work on an organic farm in exchange for food and accommodation. I’m really excited – and scared! This will be the first time I’ve been in a foreign country by myself with only a limited knowledge of the language. It does bring up more stress however, as the WWOOF hosts that I’ve emailed so far have all emailed back to say they don’t need any help at the moment… But I will persevere! Surely there are farms in dire need of a helping hand in December…?! I will post when I get a positive reply from a farm – it’d pretty awkward if I didn’t…
What to pack…
I am now in the process of buying/finding the essentials: a raincoat, a backpack, insect repellent, *ear plugs, waterproof clothes, money belt, **sports gear, malaria tablets, sun protection, pen knife, a torch, a plastic poncho, gardening gloves, adaptor plug – you get the gist. Of course I won’t need to buy all of this as I’ll have some things around the house. The problem is actually finding them!
*I was told in my informal interview with the director that the one piece of equipment that volunteers never think of to take is a set of earplugs. The forest is just a cacophony of sound and it can be near impossible to fall asleep at nights!
**Ex-volunteers have spoken of the problems when it comes to finding suitable clothing to work in the Cloud Forest; you need to wear long sleeves to protect yourself from bites (so no tees or shorts), but it’s really difficult because you get so hot working so you just want to take off all your clothes! We were advised to take sports wear because this is designed to absorb sweat and cool you down as well as covering your body.
Outreach advises us to take £150 a month, so that’s £450 for the whole journey which will come from my savings. We were advised to pack lightly because some of the essentials we need to take can be bought in Ecuador.
Aaaaaaaah I can’t believe I’m actually going! I’ve gone into this quite obliviously – it hadn’t really dawned on me until now how big the whole thing is. I keep getting sudden bursts of panic/excitement/distress when I actually think about it. But I feel a lot better when I think of the good that I’ll be doing. So yeah, this has become a whole lot more than a little adventure!
Fingers crossed that my next post will talk of my firm plans to stay at a WWOOF host in Barcelona!