It’s already December. Which means there are only 27 days to go…! (Ooh and my countdown timer is now counting down the days too —> )
Last week I made the long journey down to Somerset for a pre-departure day in the Outreach office. I made the journey over a weekend, staying with a friend in London.
I was lucky to get to Somerset on time as so many trains were delayed due to the rain! Upon my arrival I met volunteers who will be doing projects in Cambodia, Kenya and, of course, Ecuador. While most of the 25 volunteers will be going to Ecuador, I will be working with only 3 other people in the Cloud Forest! The others signed up for projects which are based in Quito, namely working with and caring for poor communities, children living on the streets, with the disabled and in orphanages.
On the day we were given extremely helpful information. On the subject of immunisations I felt relatively safe, having had all of mine except the BCG blood test. A volunteer asked about the risk of malaria to which he got the answer:
Don’t worry about malaria. In Quito and the cloud forest you’ll be too high for mosquitos to survive so don’t fork out on malaria tablets.
… I proceed to kick myself when I think of the £40 I spent on 3 months supply. James, the director, finished off his spiel on immunisations saying,
The chances of getting a serious illness is about 1 in 30. Which means at least one of you in this room will suffer from something nasty.
Cue nervous laughter and awkward glances around the room: who will it be?
One thing that struck me on the day: I am the only Scot embarking on this trip. Someone remarked on how they liked my accent – which is a sure sign that I really am the only Scot here as my accent, when heard in Scotland, is heard as very English. I feel the need to play it up while I’m in Ecuador to remind me of home. I should take a couple of copies of The Broons and Oor Wullie. Maybe even pack a bagpipe or two.