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Day 2: induction to Accra   (published in Ghana)

September 5, 2017 by   Comments(2)

My first full day in Ghana I am awakened by the sound of Sunday school, occurring literally right outside my window. It appears to consist of belting out hymns in a repetitive fashion, which I don't mind since they sing well. Hesitant to interrupt, I decide to unpack a bit, but my host mom's housekeeper Hajara comes and gathers me for breakfast. On our way to the kitchen, we walk past the school goers and I get to admire all the kids and women in their Sunday best. Breakfast is simple, a small banana with toast and various spreads, plus tea. I am only hungry enough for one of the four pieces of toast, and feel bad for wasting.

Hajara first struck me as slightly distant, but thanks to my inability to shut up when I am nervous, we have a lovely chat. We talk about how her mom taught her to cook, past volunteers who have stayed with her, and the two dogs on the property. Although identical, one is so shy it runs away any time you get near it, and the other is chained up because if loose it would probably eat you. It's name is Challenge, which I found rather appropriate.

After Sunday school wraps up, I realize I have absolutely nothing to do all day. I decide to somehow contact Ed, my mother's cousin's husband who is here to train the police and military in paragliding. We've never met, but by coincidence were to be in Accra at the same time. All I know is that he comes to Ghana often, is a private detective, and jumps off of cliffs with parachutes at the age of 70 ish. Hajara graciously lets me use her cellphone to contact him, and he agrees to come collect me from the house.

In the meantime, I meet the other volunteer living with me. He is a Brit named James, and reminds me a lot of my brother (hi Charles!) so I like him immediately. A Projects Abroad employee named Fynn ...

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Day 2: induction to Accra
Day 2: induction to Accra

Arrival   (published in Ghana)

September 3, 2017 by   Comments(3)

Before leaving for Ghana, the one thing everyone kept asking me was, "how are you feeling?" And the truthful answer was, I really didn't know. As someone who can get anxious running an unfamiliar errand alone, I was anticipating a mental breakdown to occur at any moment, but to my surprise, it hasn't come yet. I didn't even cry when I left my parents at security (and neither did my mom, you go girl!!). Perhaps this can be chalked up to mental toughness. I refused to let myself lose it, because I simply did not have the option. A more likely explanation, however, is that I was fortunate enough to encounter some really lovely people on my journey here.

While waiting for my London flight to board, I began chatting with an English woman who taught me all about British airlines and their outrageously priced business class. My seatmate for this flight did not thrill me initially, since he was lacking some deo for the B.O. as my boyfriend says. But his company overcame the odor. He was a senior in college from India, self-taught computer science whiz who had never left his hometown until a company found him online and offered him an internship in Pittsburgh. He had never been on a plane before, yet enthusiastically hopped on three to get to America where he stayed for four months. I asked him what he thought of the US, because I usually expect most countries to look down on us, but he LOVED it. He said he could eat pizza for every meal, and thought the people were exceptionally nice. He then gleefully showed me a box of notes his colleague had made for him, one for each hour of his flight. I thought to myself-if this dude can make it in America by himself with no experience traveling or flying, I can do three months in Ghana.

After successfully landing in London, my new ...

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Visa from Amsterdam; visum uit Amsterdam   (published in Nepal)

September 1, 2017 by   Comments(0)

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I heard that some of you have been so curious about what my next real step was going to be that you could not sleep. So hopefully, after reading this post, you will find the rest to sleep again 

Yesterday was amazing! I had a great birthday. Together with my grandmother, I took the train to Amsterdam to obtain a visa for Nepal. This was done within 10 minutes, and we spent the rest of the day eating cake, having lunch, shopping, and sightseeing in Amsterdam. I am so incredibly thankful for my superfit, always happy, beautiful grandmother! 

Now that I have my visa, the most important preparations have been done. And I'm happy for that, because after my study starts next week I will have less time to arrange things for my trip. My focus in the coming weeks will be on studying, saving money, and earning money. How I am planing to earn money without a job.. you will hear in the next post! Please don't speculate to much about it at night 

Ik heb gehoord dat sommigen van jullie zo nieuwsgierig waren naar mijn volgende echte stap dat je niet kon slapen. Ik hoop dat je nu, na het lezen van deze blog, weer de rust kan vinden om te slapen 

Gisteren was een geweldige dag! Ik heb een hele fijne verjaardag gehad. Samen met mijn oma ben ik naar Amsterdam geweest om een visum te halen voor Nepal. We stonden binnen 10 minuten weer buiten, dus we hebben de rest van de dag gebruikt om taart te eten, te lunchen, winkelen en toeristje te spelen. Ik ben zo ontzettend dankbaar voor mijn superfitte, altijd blije, prachtige oma!

Nu dat ik mijn visum heb zijn de meest belangrijke voorbereidingen gedaan. En daar ben ik blij mee, want volgende week begint de studie weer en zal ik minder tijd hebben om dingen te regelen voor mijn reis. De aankomende weken zal ik me vooral ...

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Visa from Amsterdam; visum uit Amsterdam
Visa from Amsterdam; visum uit Amsterdam

Tanzania 2017   (published in Tanzania)

August 30, 2017 by   Comments(0)


Eloise Killing - General Care Project in Tanzania

Ever since I can remember I have wanted to travel to Africa.

I wanted to help out and interact with the children and to explore the different cultures and landscapes. When I got the chance, straight away I grabbed it.

After a lot of research, preparation and planning, I left for Tanzania in June. I can remember how nervous and anxious I felt as it was my first time travelling alone. I was 17 at the time and I was filled with multiple feelings such as excitement, worry and the fear of the unknown.

Although it's completely normal for anyone to worry whilst travelling to a new destination. Wondering if you're going to love or hate the country, the people, the food, the culture or the heat.

I can honestly say that there was definitely no need for me to worry about anything.

Arriving in Tanzania

I departed my hometown Limerick to get the bus to Dublin Airport. This was my first time travelling from Dublin Airport so I got lost a few times, this made me panicky a bit. But once I was finally seated on my flight, I was en route Istanbul, Turkey. This flight took 4 and a half hours. Right away after that flight I got onto the dreaded 7 and a half hour flight to Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania.

I arrived in Dar Es Salaam at 2:30AM. I got my Buisness Visa at around 3:30AM due to the mad que, then I was met by a friendly face named Seleman from Projects Abroads staff. I got taken to my host family's home next. It was hard for me to picture what the area looked like because it was so dark. I remember wondering why on earth were people still out and about at 4AM!

When I arrived at my host family's house in Mikocheni B, I was welcomed in with open arms. They made me feel like I was a long lost relative! I was shown to my room ...

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Tanzania 2017
Tanzania 2017

Preparations and vaccinations; voorbereidingen en vaccinaties   (published in Nepal)

August 29, 2017 by   Comments(0)

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A few days ago, my trip to Nepal as a volunteer was confirmed! This means preparation has started for real. I have been reading through information, more information, and more information about the country, the trip, what to expect, what to prepare, etc. And I'm getting more excited by every word I read! 

I am doing the Christmas Building project in Kathmandu, which lasts from the 20 of December 2017 to January 2nd 2018. With a group of volunteers, I will help building a school for the children in Nepal. After the earthquakes in 2015, still not enough schools have been built which means that not every child can go to school at the moment. This year, my wish for Christmas is to help those children, and therefore I signed up for this project.

About the preparations again, today the first step was taken. I have already been writing on my packing list, trying to save some money, and dancing around my room in thanksgiving because of this great opportunity - but this was the first REAL step. I went to the GP to get vaccinations. And that was not as bad as I had expected! The next real step will be taken on Thursday - my birthday! 

Een paar dagen geleden werd mijn reis als vrijwilliger naar Nepal bevestigd! Dit betekent dat de voorbereidingen nu echt zijn begonnen. Ik heb informatie, meer informatie en nog meer informatie gelezen over het land, de reis, wat ik kan verwachten en moet voorbereiden, enz. En bij elk woord dat ik lees krijg ik meer zin om te gaan!

Ik ga het Kerst Bouwproject doen in Kathmandu, van 20 December 2017 tot 2 Januari 2018. Samen met andere vrijwilligers ga ik helpen met het bouwen van een school voor de kinderen in Nepal. Na de aardbevingen in 2015 zijn er nog steeds niet genoeg scholen opgezet voor alle kinderen om naar school te kunnen. ...

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Preparations and vaccinations; voorbereidingen en vaccinaties
Preparations and vaccinations; voorbereidingen en vaccinaties

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