Scottish Charity Number: SCO36069

29th July 2013

Cameron Sinclair: Initial report

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I am getting prepared to leave for India in one weeks time. I am so excited to get out into the unknown and explore a completely different culture. I am going to be volunteering at a small school in the northwest Himalaya in a region called Ladakh which has been a refuge for Tibetans leaving Tibet. I am going to run conversational classes with a mix of older kids who dropped out of school, Tibetan refugees and other children in the close vicinity to the school. The school also teaches science with an emphasis on sustainable living in the environment, therefore I expect to be helping with solar panels, compost toilets, and building sunken polytunnels for growing vegetables. I am expecting the people out there to be really friendly and easy to get along with. I also think that they will be very eager to learn and easy to teach. I am glad that some of the students that I will be teaching will be the similar age to me so I can socialize and be around others my age.

I am worried that I will pick up an illness of some sort short either due to food poisoning or altitude sickness as I will be based at 3500m above sea-level. I am also concerned that I will not eat enough and lose lots of weight. This happened to me the last time I was in India at the age of ten. Other worries I have are being isolated from everyone as I dont speak their native tongue so I want to try and learn as much as I can in the first couple of weeks of me being there. On this trip I hope to become more comfortable talking to strangers and become a lot more independent so can survive at university and beyond. I also hope that I will become more mature and learn how to live in a different environment and understand more about the culture and politics of this fascinating part of the world.

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