T minus 100 days and counting…

Welcome to my shiny new wordpress blog. If all goes well in just under 100 days I should be jetting to Namibia to start a 2 year placement with VSO as an IT Specialist in Opuwo. I intend to use this blog to keep interested parties (my mum and maybe a friend or two if I’m lucky) up to date with what’s happening.

The provisional arrival date from VSO is the 8th of March 2009 (so I’m guessing departure date will be the 6th-ish).

Between now and than I must cast away the baggage of my life (all my stuff) and prepare practically and emotionally for a selfless life of chastity, purity and service (hah!). In other words get rid of (at least temporarily) all my belongings to a limit of 25kg, complete a neverending amount of admin, be injected many times over and say goodbye to everyone.

In a rash attempt to quantify just how much is left to be done (lots) I’ve compiled a list of milestones (damn my project management training). These are…

  • C day – get the CRB check back (required for VSO to proceed and for the visa). It’s been over four weeks already and the net is full of horror stories involving lengthy delays and randomly being listed as a member of the Brinks Mat gang.
  • M day – get the medical completed. Simple you might think but alas my GP surgery is currently going through some sort of extended building works (another secret lair no doubt) so appointments are limited and the only one identified so far I couldn’t do.
  • X day – get a chest X-ray (required for Namibian visa) and hopefully find out that I don’t have TB.
  • I day – finish immunisations. I have started the “general” ones (some of which I had already which was good) but I now also need to get a rabies shot (nasty side effects) and some other one I can’t even pronounce.
  • T day – complete my training with VSO. I’ve done Preparing to Volunteer (P2V) and now have to do Skills for Working in Development (SKWID) as well as any other mandatory courses identified by VSO’s training team.
  • V day – get my Namibian visa issued (requires CRB, Medical and X-ray to be completed first).
  • G day – “Go Go Go” day. Commit to the first stage of giving up my life – hand notice in on the flat, tell BT to stuff it etc etc.
  • N day – Point of NO RETURN day. This is when I hand my notice in at work and try not to be too upset by their whoops of delight at my leaving. This should be some time around the 1st of February.
  • D day – Erm I’m not sure what the D in “D Day” stands for (if anything) but it’s, you know, D-Day.

In an ideal world everything would happen seamlessly and one step would follow another. Sadly the world is far from ideal and time is getting short.

Ideally I would have had the CRB back, completed the medical and been on the way to getting the visa before giving up my flat and once again giving my parents the honour of catering for my every whim whilst I save up as much cash as possible. As I want to move in early January though and get two months rent-free I’m going to have to start this (G-day) in the next week or so, probably before everything is in place.

This I can do on faith and blind optimism. After all, if it all falls through all I’ve done is give up a rented flat and maybe sold a few of my more pointless posessions.

The real quandary would come (and I hope it doesn’t) if we’re approaching N-day, the point of no return and handing in of the notice, and the visa or some other necessity is still outstanding. Would I proceed in faith and blind optimism?

Living back at home preparing to jump off on some wild adventure selfless volunteering is one thing. Living back at home as a jobless not-even-wanted-as-a-volunteer is something else.


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