As many of you who make your way to this site know, traveling to help others is my passion and something I absolutely love to do! In the past I have sent mass emails each week while I was away as an update of what I was doing. The last trip I went on to Nigeria my email list had become so large my emails were often getting marked as spam, so to avoid that from being a problem I decided it was time to upgrade to a blog where a wide number of people could follow me and receive email updates if they would prefer. For those of you who have been supporters and followers in the past I hope this will work well for you and for those of you who are just joining me I’m glad to have you and hope you enjoy what is to come!
This is my very first blogging experience so bear with me as I try to get everything set up and get in to the swing of things. 😉 Feel free to share this site with anyone who may be interested in hearing about or keeping up to date with where I am and what I am doing.
As for this trip I am preparing for it is not only the longest, but absolutely the most unique I’ve ever attempted. I will be out of the country from the end of October till the end of April (exact dates to be determined in a couple of days). I will be volunteering through Global Volunteer Network whose headquarters are in New Zealand. I will be spending my first 3 months in the Philippines in the city of Tacloban which was hit extremely hard by the typhoon in 2013. While there I will spend time helping in a women’s shelter, a street children program, and a community centre program. After 3 months in the Philippines I have scheduled a 10 day break for myself in Australia to spend a little time relaxing and getting refreshed before continuing on to Argentina for 3 months more of volunteer work. In Argentina I will be spending about 3 weeks in each of the following programs: Horse Therapy, Gender Equality(assisting single mothers with basic life skills), Community Development Project, and an Animal Conservation Program. This week is a busy one for setting everything in order. I have just paid my program fees, on Tuesday or Wednesday I am to arrange all my flights, and hopefully by the end of the week I will have my travel insurance locked in place. I must also begin the process of packing for 6 months in 1 checked bag and 1 carry on. I am already in the middle of the series of vaccinations I need for this trip. The other big thing to be set in place asap is my visa for the Philippines, but that process can not be started until I have my flights locked in.
This is also the most expensive trip I have ever attempted to pull off. This past summer I worked 2 jobs (basically about 70-80 hour work weeks) in order to save as much as absolutely possible. I was able to save $15,000 for my trip. Although I thought that would be more than enough for 6 months of volunteer work it has proved to be not quite enough. Airfare being the thing that was considerably more expensive than originally anticipated. Also due to the amount of traveling I have done in the past and the amount of vaccinations I have already had, I had not anticipated a large cost for vaccinations. However, I soon found out although I only needed 2 they happen to be the most expensive I’ve ever needed. All together the trip looks to be costing about 17-18,000. As always though the Lord provides and I have no doubt that He will work the miracles that need to be worked! Jesus is by my side always and the money always arrives when it’s needed. I have not and do not plan to do any fundraising this time around because that is why I worked the way I did for 6 months. Those that feel led to assist in my extra costs may feel free to contact me, but more important than the financial side of things I appreciate and covet your prayers before, during, and after my trip. I am always seeking full-time employment that would allow me to help others all the time, but in the meantime am thankful the Lord continues to provide a way for me to make money, save, and go help for longer periods of time. I am always glad to experience new cultures and broaden my own expertise and exposure to new and different types of programs/projects!
I will continue to update here as things get locked in and the time gets closer to my leaving. Over the next few weeks I will be emailing my original list of contacts to let everyone know about this blog. I am also ordering cards to hand out and will hopefully share on Facebook, etc. Please share with anyone who is interested in following along! I appreciate any comments and will look forward to hearing from those of you who lend encouragement, prayers, etc. along the way! Feel free to leave any questions you might have also and I will do my best to answer them.