Not long now!

Trip Start Sep 14, 2012
Trip End Aug 16, 2013

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Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Monday, August 6, 2012

So it's 39 days until we leave for Senegal!

On 14th September, a group of 8 of us are flying to Dakar, the capital of Senegal. So far, we know that we'll be spending a weekend in Dakar before splitting up to travel to our separate projects. Each project has a pair, and my partner, Amee, and I are going to be living in Joal, a fishing town 3 hours south of Dakar. There, we'll be teaching English to a range of ages (classes are about 60 in number!) as well as running after school clubs. The official languages are French and Wolof; though it sounds like there are lots of other tribal languages as well. I'm hoping to get a pretty good grip of Wolof - so far I can only count to 20 and I'm not even sure if my pronunciation's right!
It's a little weird to think that we leave so soon after such a big build up: Selection course, Training course, fundraising, immunisations... Selection really doesn't seem that long ago yet so much has happened since. Right now, it feels like I don't go a single day without saying the words 'Senegal' or 'Next year...', but no matter how much I talk about what we'll be doing, it hasn't fully sunk in yet. Maybe it won't until we're there and living it! I got the chance to meet my partner on training. Amee and I will be living together and working together so I was a bit nervous before we met, but without need to be. She's lovely and I'm really looking forward to getting to know her better! We've already got plans for a possible music club and she loves travelling too so on weekends we can go to visit the other projects and hopefully explore Senegal. 

I've been trying to organise all of the stuff that's on my check list, but it's quite expensive and extensive. All of my immunisations are finished now (selling the drum kit paid for them though!) but it took a good hour in Boots to make sure I had all of the creams, tablets and instruments for my first aid kit! I need to go the doctors though to get a prescription for Doxycycline, the anti-malarial tablets. I tried them for a week and didn't notice any side-effects (there's a long list of possible ones!) so hopefully they'll be right, although obtaining them could be a problem as the GP left me angry last time after accusing me of getting my parents to pay for the trip. If only he knew the amount of stress that is related to fundraising!!! Friends who already have theirs say that they're quite bulky, so it looks like I'll have to sacrifice some underwear to make room for the tablets! I've also found myself buying clothes that I would never normally buy... I tried on one dress that was quite shapeless, high neckline and well beyond the knee and Mum just laughed! I feel so much more comfortable in my skinny jeans but they'll be a no-go next year! I guess it's the little creature-comforts like my jeans that I'll really miss next year (although maybe not in the heat!) 

Preparations for Senegal aside, I've been trying to enjoy the Summer and relax a little after such a hectic 2 years - A levels, fundraising, student management team, etc, it's been really busy! I had my first 'I'm really going to miss you!' cry on holiday with my family, they were all playing in the sea and I'd decided to sit on the beach and watch them and couldn't help but think how much I'll miss them.
I also spent last week at Center Parcs with 3 of my best friends of all time, they've put up with a lot of my stressing and worrying and 'sorry, i have revision to do!' excuses, so being able to actually see them and have fun with them was lovely.

If you're reading this (Hi Mum!) then you're probably another one of those people who have been incredible this year. The support that I have received, not only financially but also through advice, hugs and cakes has been so overwhelming. Friends, family and strangers have all been so so generous in giving and I don't think that there's any way I could thank you enough. 

Anyway enough of being soppy, I'll write again soon!

Over and out.

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