Monday, 17 June 2013

It's Tomorrow!

Hello everyone!

So tomorrow is the big day. The day that I was sort of hoping would never come as I have said before, I don't really enjoy exercise! 

Tomorrow Georgina and I are starting our 160 mile bicycle ride!

It will be hard work but I am confident that we are ready for it. I'm not dreading it too much, I exaggerated a little bit! I am up for the challenge and to carry it out as I have had so much support for it which I thank you all so much.

It is slightly overwhelming having all of this support, especially from people I have never met who have been so kind and generous! So thank you, thank you, thank you!!! It means so much to me. It is funny how I expected my year in Uganda to be very much a solo project. I thought it would just be something that I am doing and that is that, maybe a few family and friends would know about it. However the amount of interest and support from all sorts of people has been crazy and has made every time I get a little nervous or doubtful about what I am doing, easy to overcome as I know that people have put their faith in me. 

It has only been in the last month or so where I have started to feel nervous. Since August 2012 I have been dancing around the place boring my friends and family to death that "I'm going to Uganda!" Then every time I think of a question or learn something about Uganda, a past volunteer or Project Trust, everyone has to know and give me some form of answer about my question. A lot of people have told me how impressed they are about how laid back and calm about it I have been or how not bothered I am about the fact I will have no electricity or internet for a year, "No Facebook??" they all say! I would say I am pretty calm about it all as I chose to have no electricity and very basic accommodation so I suppose that is why i'm calm, it has always been my decision. The fact that I have running water and my bucket shower and loo are INSIDE rather than outside is a huge bonus - I wasn't expecting that! So thanks Project Trust!

As I was saying... in the last month or so I have had a few doubts about what I am doing. I think it is because it was coming up to the last month of school and I was very sad to leave and after school, there is nothing in the way or any distractions from Uganda. I have never thought that I am making the wrong decision but I just love art so much and I keep thinking, "Maybe I should just be going to Art College NOW!" or just worrying that I won't be a great teacher but I think I should be ok!! Especially after my Training in July up at Coll. I will learn a lot up there and hopefully put some worries to rest. Then there is the pretty basic thought that makes me a little nervous that is that 12 months is a rather long time, then again, that was the selling point of a Gap Year for me. I wasn't planning a Gap Year at all then Project Trust came to do a talk at school. It was a compulsory talk and I remember feeling a bit grumpy as it was in my free period so I could have been in art block but instead I had to spend an hour listening to a stupid talk. The three things that stood out almost straight away was: Africa, 12 months and the Selection Course. I thought, hang on a minute... This sounds pretty cool and incredibly different to what other Gap Year companies offered. Also Project Trust is a not-for-profit charity which was a nice touch! 

So as you can see, almost every worry I have has a "but" and a good point after it. 

I remember VERY clearly nervously ringing up my mother and saying I wanted to take a Gap Year. To be quite honest it did not go very well and when I put the phone down I thought that this was going to take some persuading and I would need to put my serious hat on. I think she thought it was a very spur of the moment decision which I guess it was but it didn't feel like a stupid spur of the moment decision! What luckily played into my hands was that mum obviously told dad that the charity was called Project Trust and to everyone's surprise, my dad had done HIS Gap Year with them when he left school. So this was a big advantage and made mum relax a bit! So luckily they "rather seriously" agreed to go to the Parent's Evening in Norwich and were VERY impressed and I was practically jumping off the walls about how GOOD this Gap Year sounded. I am pretty easily impressed in life in general but this was unlike anything I had felt before. I felt hugely daunted by it, to make a decision to spend a year of your life in a third world country is huge but my oh my it felt so right! I have always been fascinated by Africa (thank you David Attenborough!) so without planning it and it all happening by accident, this felt like a very natural decision. I was seriously nervous about the Selection Course as it was the first step but I took comfort that rather than just having to sign a piece of paper and "Ta-dah!" i'm having a Gap Year, I would get to learn about Project Trust, they would make good judgement about if I was capable of a Gap Year and even if I did get accepted, I didn't have to accept. I left Project Trust over the moon and waiting for the letter to say if I had been accepted, it felt more important than my AS results which were due the same week. 

So when I get a bit doubtful I remember that first encounter with Project Trust, how negative I felt about having to go to the talk and how after the first 5 minutes they had sold it to me. I also remember how I managed to get my parents from doubtful and "You know how much work this is going to be. You have to take it seriously. It sounds fantastic but it won't be easy etc etc etc" to being very excited for me going up to Coll. That was a nice feeling too. However I suppose the best feeling is how surprised I felt about myself choosing to do this. Before 6th Form I was very shy and was incredibly nervous about starting my A Levels, making new friends etc. If you asked me at the beginning of year 12 if I wanted to spend 12 months in a third world country teaching, I think my eyes would have popped out my head. Project Trust came to talk at the end of year 12 so I like to think how much I changed in that year. 

I had no intention of all this babbling, I was just going to tell you about my bicycle ride tomorrow but that's the thing with a blog. My train of thought just doesn't really stop and it is quite hard to stop typing!!

I realise that I never wrote a Part 2 to my Selection Course. Sorry about that. I shall get that written some time after my bicycle ride!

So again, THANK YOU so much to everyone who has supported me through advice and donations or even just stories of friends or relatives who have been out to Uganda. It is very exciting, all of a sudden my fundraising has just gone BOOM and I'm under £800 to go! Being on £4000 mark is extremely satisfying. The thermometer is nearly at the top! I love that thermometer...

If my sister reads this, (I don't think she does!) THANK YOU GEORGINA! You have been a huge help and no one forced you to do this bicycle ride so I think you are excellent! Also I would have never got on the bike in the first place if you hand't got all grumpy with me at the start. I hate grumpy sisters so I got on the bike and now we are doing rather well. :)

I shall keep this blog updated on our progress of the 160 miles.

If anybody wanted to support us it would be greatly appreciated!

I shall stop talking now...!

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