Wow… it’s been a while since I’ve had any time to sit down and write. Somewhere I have a book, in which I’ve been scribbling down things to write posts about… I think I know which box it’s in… I’m fairly sure at any rate.
This time in two weeks’ time I will be in Botswana, on the first day of my new role. It’s a little weird to think about it. I think I may have reached a point where it’s not going to feel any more real until I’ve been there for a few weeks, although I suppose that might all change as I wave goodbye to my family at the departure gate.
New people live in my old house, all my stuff is in boxes at my mum’s and I’ve said a lot (though not all) of my good byes. I’ve had most of my jabs, my passport has arrived and my flights are booked. I’ve managed to raise a fair amount of the money I need for the whole year, and I’ve been overwhelmed by the generosity of people, so thank you very much! You know who you are. There’s more I need to continue to raise, but I’m confident that it will happen.
There is a lot to do still, but there’s time in which to do it. One of my biggest challenges now is to work out what exactly I need to take with me, and how much of the stuff I think I want to take is not actually required. 30kilos sounds like a pretty good luggage allowance, but I’m definitely a ‘kitchen sink’ type of packer.
When we were on our training weekend we had a session on what to pack and, just as importantly, what not to pack. So I know I need my first aid kit with sterile needles and that I should probably wait and buy my mosquito repellant locally. Similarly, I should take things that remind me of home, but remember that you can only live in one place at any one time. I mustn’t go out to Botswana and spend all my time there wondering what’s going on back home. I need to be present where I am, focused on the people I’m with and the lives we will be living. (That said, Skype will definitely be my friend over the coming 12 months! Net connection willing of course.)
So what’s definitely on the list? In alphabetical order we have:
- Candle (from our Commissioning Service)
- Clothes (it’s bit more specific than that but I won’t bore you!)
- Emergency Cheering Up Kit™ (things supplied by family and friends)
- First Aid Kit (with afore mentioned sterile needles)
- Journal(s) (including the beautiful one I was given by ICM as a leaving gift)
- Photos (of family and friends, of the UK and of Botswana when I was a kid)
- Scrapping stuff (a very cut down supply)
- Tech (for communicating, since that’s partly my job!)
- Wash kit
First and foremost though, I need to buy a decent case! If anyone has any tips, feel free to leave them in the comments😉