Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Treading Water!
On the subject of volunteering in Africa...

I've been in contact with an organisation, with regard to volunteering as an English teacher in Ghana over the summer, ever since I last posted about it,
which was ages ago. Anyway, for a start, it takes them ages to respond to my emails, and I've left my home telephone number and they've not called to discuss
any further arrangements. The trouble is, that as soon as I mentioned I had a sight problem, everything seemed to grind to a hault. I had a response asking
if I could travel with a friend or family member, and that they would try to subsidise "some" of the cost of traveling. Now including flights, accomodation,
living expenses, and the addition of still paying rent back home, you're talking about nearly 2000 pounds for the trip, which I've accomodated for and
can just about afford, but no one else I know can. What's more, I wanted this to be something I did alone, as an experience for me, so I could take in
the culture and the people, without any distractions. I told them this, and that I was an extremely independent woman, and that I've traveled abroad to
teach before, and that as long as I was paired up with another volunteer I would be fine. Anyway, I've not heard a thing back, and I just called and asked
to speak to the woman I've been in contact with, and I was put on hold, then asked what the call was about, then put on hold again, and then asked to leave
a message. So to me, it's obvious that the receptionist reported to the woman, and she was reluctant to take the call, for whatever reason. So I feel like
I'm treading water. I've been pushing for weeks, and if something isn't sorted out soon, I'll miss the opportunity all together, because it'll be too late
to book flights and make arrangements. I feel so frustrated, and have a bad feeling about the organisation I'm dealing with. I think I'll have to lok elsewhere,
and hope they're willing to think about equal opportunities and the fact that they have a willing volunteer, desperate to put something back in to the
world, instead of concentrating on the fact that I'm visually impaired. I don't usually rant about things like this, and usually my sight isn't an issue,
but right now, for them, I feel that it is. I'll be damned if I let anything stop me from living a dream that I've harboured for so long!

Anyway, if anyone knows of any reputable organisations that send volunteers from the UK to Africa, leave me a comment with their details.

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