Off once again to pastures, well, wet really

Monday 6th August 2007

Hello again all,
I am leaving tomorrow for Nepal to start my latest adventure, and am so overwhelmed with stuff to do I’ve decided to put it off by writing a big long email!

I’ve had a fantastic time the last few weeks, I’ve seen just about all of my friends (I think!) and spent a gorgeous couple of weeks looking after my lovely nephews as well.
The highlights of my summer are as follows:

I’ve had many a lovely drunken night out with friends, in Bury, London, Nottingham, Oxford and Sudbury. We’ve taken the boys to the races at Newmarket (Jack managed to pick out two winners, even though he’s only about 18 months old!!), to the Colne Valley Railway to go on a proper steam train, to the Zoo (Ollie fed the giraffes), and lots of trips to the park etc.

At the zoo

I have become an expert on Thomas the Tank Engine, as Ollie is currently completely obsessed with him, and I’m rather proud of how knowledgeable I am on all of their names and jobs! Jack prefers the Wiggles, an obscure Australian phenomenon involving four fully grown men who sing songs and tell stories. Three of them freak me out completely, although the blue one (Anthony) seems vaguely sane!

I have been to a pre-departure camp in Oxford, where I met lots of other volunteers going to loads of different countries, and we did lots of cultural awareness role-playing etc.
It was fun, and I’m now in contact with loads of people doing the same kinds of thing as me.

The Hill End massive!

As I prepare to depart, I gradually realise how little I’ve actually done!
Packing seems impossible, and although I’ve bought a posh new rucksack for this adventure, I keep making endless lists and forgetting crucial things like mosquito nets and antiseptic creams!

I looked on lots of websites, and there didn’t seem to be any one that agreed on which vaccinations I should get, so I figured it was fine, and I’d just get yellow fever (lots of countries require a certificate of vaccination to enter). I went to see the practice nurse last week, and she was a terribly fierce lady who told me off royally for not coming in sooner.
Our conversation went a lot like this:
“You mean you haven’t had your rabies shot yet? But you need 3 weeks for that one!”
“I, um, I’ll try not to get rabies then?”
“But you can catch it from saliva you know, not just bites!”
“Well, I’ll be extra careful not to let any dogs dribble into my mouth then.”
“What about Japanese B Encephalitis??”
“Well you’ll have to have Cholera, and Typhoid, and Hepatitis A,….”
and so on.

It turns out that there has been a recent outbreak of cholera in Kathmandu, due too monsoon flooding and a political strike in the South (something to do with chlorine not being delivered into the water supply) so I agreed on that one, but I had to drink it instead of an injection!
So, having ingested Cholera, (raspberry flavour by the way), I’ve had a rather unsuprisingly bad stomach, but it seems to be clearing up, and hopefully I’ll be fine for the journey.

I’m ironically flying with Gulf Air, with a stopover in Bahrain, a place I never thought I’d be going back to again so soon!

I’ve been in touch with a girl who’s just left the orphanage I’m going to, and she said that due to a lack of funding, the kids are no longer able to go to school, so they will be there all the time, which is a bit daunting! However, I am only a volunteer and I’m allowed to take a break if it gets too much! I also have a two-week orientation when I arrive to have some basic language classes and be shown around the city a bit, which hopefully will be quite fun!

So, on that note, I suppose I shall have to go and start packing, although I’m not sure I’ll have room for clothes once all the medical supplies are in!
Wish me luck!

tons of love

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