Monday, 16 July 2007

3 Weeks To Go: Pre-Departure Camp

Jay says: Well its all getting very real now! Just three weeks to go.
First bit of news... August 6th... Oh no no no, we got our dates mixed up! We're actually flying on August 4th! Oh cr*p. Better change all our moving plans then!

We've just spent a great weekend at the Hill-End Field Centre in Oxfordshire. This was our Pre-Departure Training Camp with our charity ICYE. Before going I was a bit dubious about the camp, thinking it would be full of cheesy role plays and bonding games. And while yes there were plenty of these it was done really well - lots of useful information about our trip, the way the organization works, how to do deal with things we hadn't thought about but best of all a chance to meet the other 26 volunteers who are going out to do similar projects across the world! 26 others who are all feeling the same excitement and nervousness as Char and I! We thoroughly bonded over rather large amounts of alcohol and a couple of late nights.

The camp was also the Evaluation & Wrap Up Camp for the exchangees who have been volunteering in the UK from around the world. They had some brilliant insights of the UK (Including advice on buying your clothes from Primark & buying your booze from Tesco before going out!) But best of all we met Bosoco, a volunteer from Uganda. He was a legend and we've swapped details so we've got someone who can help us out and show us the sights in Uganda (it helps that he's a tour guide for a living!).

So well done and thank-you to Sophie, Cat and all at ICYE-UK.

Finally we just discovered the Ugandan partner organisation we're going with - Ugandan Volunteers for Peace (UVP) - has its own website! On which there is small bit about our Orpahange! As you can see from the photos below its pretty rural and as yet unfinished (missing a roof here and there!). I'm guessing its also going to be lacking in electricity and maybe running water but above all it looks VERY beautiful! Suddenly its very exciting and VERY real!

So much to sort out so little time..