This is my first report as a Footprinter as I set off to Namibia tomorrow (Ahhhhh!) with the charity Project Trust. In order to embark on this adventure I had to raise £5,600 and have just reached my target today, thanks to the support of Hazels Footprints Trust! My name is Kirsty, I am 17 years old and have just finished school at Boroughmuir High School in Edinburgh.
I first applied to go on a Selection course with Project Trust in Autumn last year and after being selected in October time has flown by! Since then I have done numerous fundraising events including a ceilidh, quiz nights, carol singing and lots and lots of bake sales! At first it seemed an impossible task but I now know the key is to keep motivated and be imaginative.
Looking back on it now I realise how much fun it has been and am filled with a real sense of accomplishment. Project Trust put a lot of time into selecting their volunteers, matching them to projects all over the world and pairing each volunteer with another for the year. Thus there is a higher chance of you enjoying your time overseas and giving the most you can to your project.
I decided to go overseas with Project Trust as I believe the work they do really does make a difference and doesnt take work away from those in the community. Whilst I am overseas I will be teaching in Otjikondo, a small farm village situated in North-West Namibia. I feel honoured to have been given this project as I have only ever heard good things about the people, work and community that is in place there.
This is also the school in which Hazel taught during her gap year and so I feel privileged that I am literally following in her footprints.
At the moment I am a little unsure what to expect. Despite being shown pictures of Otjikondo and Namibia on a greater scale, I think its pretty hard to grasp what a place will be like until youre actually there. All I know for certain is its a lot bigger and a lot hotter than Scotland. When it comes to fears I reckon leaving my family for so long, customising to a different way of life and melting in the sun are pretty high on the list. Something else which I reckon will be harder than expected is the actual teaching.
During my year I will be teaching Music, PE and Art to 6-14 year olds. I think this will be as challenge although Ive had some experience teaching 1st 3rd year pupils (11-14 year olds) at school, Ive never been faced with 30 young children expecting new and exciting lessons day by day.
By the end of the year I hope I will have improved as a teacher and become more confident and mature as a person. I hope to learn a lot throughout my year from the people I meet and places I visit.
It feels very surreal to know that by the time Im writing my next report I will be living and working in an African country with people who I hope will become friends for life!
Wish me luck!!