Scottish Charity Number: SCO36069

7th January 2014

Flying high and falling fast! – Courtney Cliffe Footprinter Report

Home | Footprinter Reports | Flying high and falling fast! – Courtney Cliffe Footprinter Report

As the New Year dawns, for me it brings the start of a new adventure. In a few weeks time I will embark on a journey halfway across the world, to a cluster of islands in the South Pacific Ocean called Vanuatu. As part of the Lattitude Global volunteering scheme I will spend 6 moths teaching in a Ni-Van school. I am extremely excited, and scared, and overwhelmed, and did I mention excited?

As part of my placement I will be living with a local family, with whom I will be eating, sleeping and spending my spare time helping in any way I can. Living close to a native family I promise to be immersed in a culture which is so very different from my own, and I am so excited to see what this new culture brings to my life and experience.

The last few months have been full of stress and excitement, with highs and lows as I fundraised for my trip. Who knew fundraising was so hard! My advice to anyone who is looking to fundraise like myself, is to start early, expect the worst and most of all do a skydive! I dived in October and it was the scariest and most amazing experience of my life. Not one for the faint hearted, but if you have the guts, people are willing to sponsor you for your madness. I even went around my local pubs and gained sponsors from the unexpecting people I met there (Which if you smile and their drunk enough can be quite lucrative)!

But for all the highs there were many lows, with some of my events cancelled due to lack of ticket sales, and knock backs from people who didn’t deem my cause or charity worthy enough of their help. As you are raising money as an individual for the charity, people feel they are simply funding your Gap year, which isn’t at all true, they are providing a disadvantaged school, and deserving children, with an education and opportunity which may change their life!

Be patient and remain hopeful, like me you will get there soon! Most importantly In the process you will learn, like I have, so much about yourself, your limits, your ability to cope, I can’t think of anything which could prepare me the most, not only for the next few months but also for the rest of my life.

If like me you are lucky enough to have good people who are willing to support and help you in any way they can, you need not worry as much as I did, I should have known they wouldn’t be happy until i had reached my target!

Though I wouldn’t  be in the good position I am without the promise of help from the Hazels Footprints Trust to whom I am extremely grateful and excited to work with.

My greatest fear as I look to leave, is the thought of getting ill or injured out there, away from our nice comfy health service, with any requirements on tap, where in case of emergencies or simply everyday problems help is only a phone call away. (Though the knowledge that I am completely insured and prepared sates me a little). The mosquitoes are a big worry though! Also the heat and climate! As well as the teaching part, oh and the flight! Okay I’m pretty scared!
To be honest my topmost worry is how much I will miss my family, including my beautiful baby sister (just 18months old), I don’t want to miss a single day of her growing up, but I know I have to go and do this, not only for myself, but for those little kiddies, who, unlike my Pearl, won’t have many opportunities in education. I will miss her every day, but she is my motivation to keep going.

So as I look to leave, I am excited, scared and driven to give all I can to my placement. Who knows what the next six month will bring, only time will tell. All I have to do now is wait!

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