On 27th November 2014 I will head off to Zambia for a year, my Gap year away will be full of challenges and opportunities. Getting ready and preparing for a year away has its own challenges. What to take along seems to be the least of my worries, with still lots of unknowns and what ifs. Getting ready to go vaccination, anti-malarial medication, insect repellent (a lot of insect repellent) and the other necessities (including a good supply of teabags) are all starting to come together. The stuff is the easy part getting my head around the work I will be involved in and the anticipation of working with a new team is all still a bit daunting.
When people ask if Im excited to go away, Im not entirely sure how to respond; there is the usual focus on the weather ooh the weather will be lovelyin fact it will be very hot and I am planning on packing wellies and a few water proofsthe rainy season is properly WET! Now that November is getting closer I am getting excited about what is waiting for me when I get to Zambia, getting to know things like where I will be living, who I will be working with and having a chance to email some of the people I will be working alongside.
I will be working with children and young people who have come from potentially difficult circumstances. Most will have only basic, if any education at all. Part of my role will involve mentoring and supporting these young people in getting and education, academic as well as some vocational training.
I am getting myself ready for the new challenges I will shortly face, a new country, culture, language and work. Challenges that are exciting and Im ready and willing to face!
So the countdown is on, I can do all the research and preparation I can but until I get out to Zambia Im not entirely sure what to expect but this is OK. Im sure I will be faced with things that Im not ready for, but thats part of the excitement and will make my Gap year even more memorable!!