Scottish Charity Number: SCO36069

29th July 2013

Katie Ingham: Initial report

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It somehow seems fitting that I am writing my first report, sitting in the same chair that I was in this time last year, when I first began applying for my place with Project Trust, and sparked this whole adventure off.

It had begun the same as always; a crazy day in the life of Katie, rushing around with 100 things to do 100 thoughts in my head and 100 questions for the future.

The university fair was our destination, as we were racing down the road late after visiting another university beforehand, I couldnt help thinking that going right at the end was just a waste of time. With just half an hour to spare mum and I raced into the building franticly trying to grab a prospectus here a brochure there, along with a free pen or two and a sweet if we listened to a lady preach about her university. Yet nearly all the stalls were packing away and it seemed as though most of them had had enough. So armed with prospectuses that I knew I wouldnt read we decided to leave, only to find another sign directing us to yet another building, I was sceptical; wed clearly arrived too late, the stalls were closing up, no one had time for us and yet mum persisted we had a look. Yet again we were faced with the same closing stalls the tired looking reps and some stalls even abandoned. I picked up one or two brochures as we did a circuit towards the door, one from York St Johns another from Leeds, one about a gap year project and another about financing. Then thankfully we left.

It wasnt until wed started the hour-long drive home, that I actually looked down to see what I had managed to pick up, holding up proudly to show dad the pens wed managed to get, and the project trust brochure was staring up at me. After pushing the other prospectuses to one side I opened it up and began to read and I didnt put it down until I had finished it proclaiming that I wanted to go to Africa for a gap year. To be answered with oh right Katie well maybe see what you feel like in a few days time, obviously my parents believed the idea would wear off.  But boy were they wrong! I wouldnt give in because I had finally realised this is what I wanted to do for the next year of my life.

The feeling of being selected was amazing, I still remember getting back from selection and anxiously waiting for a reply, sitting on the windowsill with my face pressed against the glass waiting for the postman, and jumping around the living room for about an hour after reading it. From there I was thrown headfirst into fundraising for going to Uganda, a hectic blur of ups and downs and struggles to raise the funds. Even now though, I cannot thank enough the people who have been so generous; family, friends, strangers, it has really spurred me on in times of doubt when I can see how many people are behind me and believe in me.

The call from Project Trust to tell me I would be going to Namibia brought on a mix of emotions. I had been preparing myself all year to go to Uganda, and the sudden news of this not happening stopped me in my tracks. However the new project in Namibia sounds brilliant. So far I have found out that I will be working in a primary school, I will also be setting up extra curricular clubs, running the Library and helping in the school hostel in the evenings. It sounds like a pretty busy life but Im definitely up for the challenge! I cant wait to get out there and meet all the children, but it seems surreal that I will be standing at the front of a classroom taking the lesson, when I have become so used to being the pupil. This is quite a scary prospect but I think something that I will become more comfortable with over time.

The next stage of my adventure is going to Coll for training. Ive been told thats going to be another packed week learning about the culture, the project, keeping safe and meeting my project partner, who I will be with for the whole year!

So for now Im just trying to convince myself its all real, and that I am going to go soon. It seems like Ive been waiting all year for training and now that its nearly here I feel scared and excited at the same time. I think one of my biggest fears will be missing my family and friends who Ill leave behind, but Im hoping that that soon wont become an issue when I settle into my new home.

So Ill leave it there for now, I cant believe that the next time I will be writing one of these reports I will be in Namibia! Scary or what!

Anyway, Ill write back soon, thank you so much to all that have helped me, especially Hazels Footprints, until Namibia,


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