Jan. 8, 2012:
At the airport ready to go
Just sending you a quick note to say GOODBYE for now!!! I will be boarding the plane for Guyana less than 12 hours from now!!! My adventure is about to begin and I am very excited to get started!
Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been frantically trying to accomplish my long list of pre-departure tasks! I’ve been running what seems like a million errands, buying last-minute supplies and gear, packing (and re-packing often!), saying goodbye to family and friends, reading up on Guyana and on all the information YCI provided me with, and generally just trying to prepare myself for this leap that I’m about to take! Since preparing to leave the country for three months is not a familiar feeling for me (yet, anyway!), it’s made the entire process all the more challenging. It’s definitely been an interesting time for me, complete with a full range of emotions running wild!
I’ve also found out some more details about the community I’ll be living and working in during my time there. The village is called St. Cuthbert’s Mission, and is about a two-hour drive south of Georgetown, the capital. The average temperature is around 30°C, so I am definitely looking forward to being warm (but hopefully not sunburned to a crisp!) Apparently the village is very remote – the nearest town is about an hour’s drive away! There are about 1,500 people living in the village. I had originally been told that the volunteers would be sleeping in hammocks, but we have been upgraded to single bunk beds with treated mosquito nets! Awesome! Mom sent me with so many school supplies that I needed a second suitcase!!! But I know they will be put to good use!
I would love to hear from any of you if you have the chance to update me over the next few months. The best way to reach me is likely by email. I’m not sure yet how often I’ll have access to the internet, but I will do my best to respond to any emails I receive and to send you some updates as well with what I’m doing down there!
Nov. 3, 2011:
I wanted to give you all a quick update on how my fundraising’s been going for my YCI project in Guyana. It’s been almost a month since I last emailed you, and a lot has changed since then!!!
I am SO happy to say that I am currently at $1,335 of $3,900!!!!!! That’s just under 35%!!! I really do appreciate the support and want to extend a HUGE thank you to everyone who’s donated so far!!! Because of the donations I received, I was able to meet my first fundraising deadline of $1,250 by Oct. 31st! What a relief that was!!! And what a wonderful feeling to know that I have such a great support network!
Every few weeks, Youth Challenge International requests that I submit another portion of my fundraising, just to ensure that I am on track and continually working towards my goal. My next deadline is Nov. 14, and I am required to submit $2,250 by then! That means I am only $915 away from reaching my goal!!! If any of you were still thinking of donating, but have simply forgotten about it, consider this email your saving grace!!! (Hehehe – yes, I am kidding). However, if you did want to donate and are able to at this point, I would be very grateful if you could help me reach my second deadline!
Again, here is the link to my fundraising page. Please let me know if you have any questions for me or if you want some more information! I would be happy to share it with you.
Right now I am in the process of planning a fundraiser with some of the other volunteers on my project who live in Ottawa, so I will be sure to let you know about those when I have settled the details! Hopefully some of you may be able to make it out! I will do my best to make it a fun-filled evening and one that is worth attending!
Take care and thanks again everyone!
Oct. 5, 2011:
I wanted to share with you some exciting news that I’ve just recently confirmed. As many of you know, over the last few months I’ve been looking into some international volunteer/work options, and I’ve finally come across an opportunity that feels right.
I’m happy to say that I will be volunteering in South America for 3 months starting in January with an international development organization called Youth Challenge International. Although I don’t know any concrete details about the location or project content yet (that will come closer to my departure date), my placement is in Guyana and I will most likely be living in a remote community a couple hours out of Georgetown, the capital.
I think it will be an amazing experience and I’m really looking forward to getting started! The first step, however, is to fundraise! Youth Challenge International has requested that I raise $3900 which will go towards program costs, including accommodation, meals, transport, security, and program materials for the volunteers throughout our stay in Guyana.
I know it seems like a lot, and is a bit of a daunting task for me at the moment, but I think I am ready for the challenge! I’m prepared to pay for any outstanding costs leading up to my departure, but I would still really appreciate any donations you could offer! As they say, every dollar counts!!! Here’s the link to my personal fundraising page on YCI’s website.
Thank you all so much! Please let me know if you are interested in learning more about the project I’ll be working on or about the organization itself. I’ve included the link to their website below.
Youth Challenge International