Friday June 21st 2013
Post elation and the reality is beginning to sink in. Volunteering is not a holiday, it’s a job, and preparing to volunteer overseas is like starting a job abroad.
First there’s the CRB or police check, then there’s booking the flight, booking in with the surgery for immunisation – yellow fever and cholera are compulsory as are malaria tablets. Add visa application (which is not a straightforward affair with the Cameroon embassy) and all the people who have to be informed this end and in Cameroon and its way more than starting a job here.
On top of that the blurb states that it’s approximately a day’s travel by bus to the project from the airport, (and the flights I’ve looked at so far are anywhere from ten hours to thirty-one hours).
I have to buy a sleeping bag. I’ll need it for the volunteer house as bedding isn’t provided. I have to buy a pair of wellingtons because it can get very muddy between April and November, and warm clothes as the altitude of project means it can get quite chilly in the evenings.
By Monday I was beginning to wonder whether this was such a good idea, but after speaking to one of the staff at Original Volunteers on Tuesday I was all fired up again. Filled in and posted the police check form. First job done, about twenty to go.