Caitlin Ripley: Initial report

Ripley la

I’m going to Thailand… and not for a holiday! That’s been my slogan for the last 14 months of gap year planning and fundraising and now its finally happening!

I’m Caitlin and in Easter 2009 I was selected by Project Trust (the charity hazel’s co-volunteers travelled with) to be the 2010/11 volunteer English teacher in Mae Sai, Thailand; after that horrific struggle which was my A levels.

I’ve been enjoying the fundraising greatly, as hard as it may have been, but I’m hoping that its going to be the year itself was the real fun and adventure. However, of course the idea of leaving everything I know for a whole year is terrifying, but what I have to focus on is how thrilling and exciting it can be if I really throw myself into everything.

The scariest thing coming up is meeting my partner, I’m sure they’ll be lovely, but it’s still a scary thought. Worse still though is the language. I have to converse for a whole year in an entirely new language, with a different alphabet. I’m going to give it my best shot though, however I doubt it will be easy. Especially as I find speaking French, a much simpler language, incredibly difficult. The worst however is the project: teaching; and that constant fear of in adequacy. Worrying whether I’ll get walked all over… however one of the current volunteers has told me that the students are lovely and good banter.

I guess I’ll just have to see what happens and if in doubt: Mai pen rai!