HELLO! Woah I haven’t updated in a while, sorry everyone. Since I’ve last posted I’ve been pretty busy. I’ve finished my exams (fingers crossed for results day!), finished work at Sherrardswood (already miss the kids!), started a new teaching job in Westminster and have been on training in Coll! I’m now fully prepared and qualified to teach overseas!
I departed for the Island of Coll on Saturday 30th June with high expectations, the last time I’d visited was for the Project Trust selection course in December where I’d met an amazing group of people and found out loads about the organization, island and new countries that I wanted to visit. This time I didn’t have the fear of not being selected (THANK GOD) but this fear was replaced with the anticipation of meeting my project partner. I still didn’t know who I’d be spending my year in Namibia with and spent most of my 9 hour train journey stressing out that we wouldn’t get along.
I spent the first night in Oban and met a few other PT volunteers the next day in Oban Backpackers. Sarah, Ben, Jake and I spent hours discussing the different countries we were going to and I persuaded them to try out the amazing pancakes in the pancake place (I did the same on selection, so yummy) . As more PT volunteers arrived we went to the Irish pub to watch the Euro finals. A few of us got bored pretty quickly so decided to meet the rest of the volunteers at the train station, knowing that my partner would be with them.
Meeting my project partner was so exciting, her names Fran and we both screamed so loudly when we met each other! She’s from Skipton and we’ve got pretty similar interests, well done PT on matching us up! After chatting and meeting the other Namibilinas (volunteers going to Namibia wahoo) we went back to Backpackers to bed 🙂
Training started straight away on Coll, it was nice being back at Project Trust and seeing the leaders but I felt like I was back at school with a full day of lessons. Over the week we learned more about our specific countries (Guyana and Rwanda volunteers were on the course too) and projects and spent hours learning teaching techniques. We also we taught invaluable lessons on health and safety when overseas.
Me and Fran had a long chat with John Fraser, our country representative, about our project in Namibia. We will both be volunteering at Otjikondo School, a primary school in north Namibia. We will both be teaching Art, Music, Pe, Drama and basic Literacy and reading skills whilst helping with the school library, putting on the nativity and school musical and setting up our own extra curricular activity clubs for the children. As the children board at the school we will also be occupying them during the evening and weekends. Our days will start at 7am and finish at 6pm, 7 days a week for 3 weeks each month. I hope people now realise that this will definitely not be a holiday!
As well as finding out loads of information, being tested on our knowledge of Namibia and planning and teaching 2 lessons to the other volunteers we also had some time to relax on Coll. We went to the beach (5 minute walk away!) when it was sunny with no intentions of going into the freezing sea but somehow every time we ended up going in and coming out with numb feet 😦 The sunsets were amazing and we even spotted seals and a whale (it was probably just rocks but a whale sounds way more impressive). On the last evening of the training course we had a formal dinner, lots of photos and a ceilidh. Oh and a casual Skype call with the house of commons (random I know).
Anyway, it was an amazing week back on Coll and emotional to say goodbye to the Project Trust staff and other volunteers. I left feeling so prepared and even more excited to depart, now knowing a lot more about my project and knowing who I’ll be going with! I also know the date that I’ll be flying; so for all of those who have been asking when you’ll finally be getting rid of me… I’ll be leaving on the 28th August!!! It’s scary that it’s so soon but I wish it would come quicker…
Thank you so much for reading my ridiculously long post, let me know if you want to know more or are interested in singing up for a gap year with PT 🙂 I will definitely be posting more in the final few weeks before I leave so stay tuned.
Bye for now!