So there is one month to go before we embark on our visit to Maputo. We have all had our inital briefing which was exciting but there is so much to learn and prepare for.
First, mis-conception... that the briefing wouldnt take long! Ha, it took all day. There was so much to discuss and think about and it became very clear to me that I hadn't perhaps fully comprehended exactly how much preparation this trip would take. WaterAid are sorting out all the logistics and where we are staying and visiting, but we have so much to think about; Vaccinations, clothing appropriate to the climate and culture, equipment, the media, learning key messages and more about the country we are visiting.
Then there is the emotional side of the whole experience. Anyone who knows me will know that I cry at Andrex adverts! So having to control my emotions in situations which will be extremely distressing, in front of people for whom these struggles are their everyday life, will be particularly hard. In fact, one of my greatest fears is being able to master my emotions.
Fears; I hadnt even thought about that, but once we talked about it there are many. Fear of Spiders (hate hate hate the little monsters), fear of the unknown, coping with the sun (as a Lupus sufferer I will have to be careful) fear of failure and of not representing such a fantastic charity well and being away from my children for the longest time ever.
Things I am not worried about; meeting new people... I love getting to know people. I haven't had the chance to meet with the full team yet as I was away for the main briefing, so I am looking forward to the supporters day on October 7th so I can finally say hi! I'm not worried about going to the loo in a latrine and taking my toilet roll with me in a nappy sack or travelling, meeting government officials and talking to them or communicating (am already brushing up on the local language Changana).
But overall I am preparing to come back a different person to who I am now. Reading facts such as 650 million people worldwide do not have access to clean, safe drinking water, 2.3 billion who do not have adequate sanitation... how do you tackle that? Where do you start? At the moment this information is just writing on a page to me but I will get the chance to experience it first hand and wake up to the fact that someone has to be a voice for those who are unable to shout up for help. That voice is WaterAid.
So, more next time. Keep following my blog and please remember if you should have the opportunity to fundraise, choosing WaterAid makes a real difference.
*Image credit wateraid.org