News News News…
I’m in a really good mood and therefore in the right frame of mind for revealing the big news of my year.
Some of you may remember my big Christmas email update, where I revealed I’d applied to spend a year volunteering with VSO. I wrote:
“Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) is the world’s leading independent, international development charity that works through volunteers to fight poverty in developing countries. I have applied for their Youth for Development scheme for 2009/10 and am now looking forward to attending an assessment day in early 2009. This scheme would see me leaving London for a year to work in a developing country in a job that uses my current skills and experience, and interest in participation and governance hopefully. All major costs are covered, with a small monthly stipend, and in return we fundraise for VSO prior to leaving. It’s the experience of a lifetime for me and I’m excited to have made it through all the preliminary stages.”
In February 2009 I attended an assessment day at the VSO offices in Putney, which led to Tweets like this (and here). I waited a week and a half and found out on Friday 20th February that I’d been selected.
Having finally got myself sorted with my current employers, I can now be a little more public about this.
Sometime this Summer (the northern hemisphere one) I’ll be leaving the UK to do who knows what, who knows where with who knows who. It’s a lesson in so many things (patience and trust to start with) and both scary and so very exciting. For anyone who knows me fairly well, you’re well aware that this is something I’ve wanted to do for a very long time. I am over the moon.
VSO are being amazing and provide lots of training. My first training weekend (Preparing to Volunteer or P2V) happens two weekends after I get back from New Zealand (the first weekend of May). Meanwhile I’m preparing my CV for their database and sorting out medicals and dental visits and it’s madness and brilliant at the same time.
This blog is going to change over the coming months. I refuse to give up my “onceuponatime.blog.com” address, having had it going for over 4 years, and so the blog will become Once Upon a Time in [insert country here]. I really hope you continue to read my ramblings as I blog the highs and lows of a first time volunteer.
Watch this space – I have plenty of posts saved up over the last month on this adventure and I’ll be slowly posting them over the coming few days.