Monday, February 22, 2010

On vaccinations and other preparations

So there is still enough time left before I leave that the whole 2 year adventure in Africa hasn't really become "real" to me yet. What is definitely making it more and more real are the number of painful, bruise-causing, wallet-emptying needles I have to endure. So far, I have been given an injections for typhoid, measle/mumps/rubella, meningitis, yellow fever and my 1st of 3 separate shots for rabies (at $170 each)! Luckily I already had the vaccinations for Hep A & B, as well as tetanus or I would really be bawling like a baby. This, of course, doesn't take into consideration the complete (and I mean COMPLETE) medical exam, the forced dental examination and following painful and expensive filling, and eye examination with double-vision, flashing-light causing drops, and months of malaria and pregnancy preventing pills I have yet to purchase. Did I mention I have to buy a motorcycle helmet because I will be riding on the back of a moto to get around most of the time? Well, at least all of these appointments are getting me out of the house and a few steps closer to my goal - And according to the eye doctor, my vision should return to normal in 8 short hours, so it's all good. Check out the funcky sunglasses they gave me to wear after my appointment - stylish!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Why am I doing this? Am I completely crazy?

Those of you who know me well know that I am a bit of a non-traditionalist. I have already spent 2 years of my life volunteering in Cambodia, why in the world would I want to do it again?

I returned "home" to Canada after almost 2 years as a United Nations Volunteer in Cambodia to a global recession and no jobs in my field of Adult Education ANYWHERE. Being unemployed for several months gave me the opportunity to reflect on what I really wanted out of life. It reaffirmed my need for a career (rather than a job) which gives me a sense of purpose while allowing me to travel and share my skills with those who really need it at the same time.

CUSO-VSO is quite well-known in Canada for sending volunteers to assist in developing countries throughout the world. For more information or to donate to CUSO-VSO, please go to

I still have a couple of months until the start date of April 14 and still have a training in Ottawa where I'll meet other CUSO-VSO volunteers and learn how to be the best volunteer I can be. The position is a Basic Education Methodology Trainer which means I will be sharing best practices in education with teachers in rural Rwanda. I have done a great deal of research into this incredible country but still have a great deal to learn! Wish me luck!